The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower by Maggie Gallant

Your Austin game writer thought you might appreciate this video: Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower by Maggie Gallant.
Welcome to the streaming encore of Hyde Park Theatre’s September 2019 production of Hot Dogs at the Eiffel Tower, written and performed by Maggie Gallant and directed by Ken Webster, documented for video by Eric Graham. The showing is free–but it’s been a rough year for theater, so if you feel like kicking in, we’re enormously grateful for any amount–and it’s tax deductible. Donate by credit card or Venmo @Katherine-Catmull. The video is made available through the kind permission of the copyright holder, Maggie Gallant, and will be available through June 19, 2021 only.

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The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: No One Else

Your Austin game writer thought you might appreciate this video: No One Else.
Provided to YouTube by Awal Digital Ltd

No One Else · Kaskade · TELYKast

Redux 003

? Arkade

Released on: 2019-10-04

Composer Lyricist: Finn Bjarnson
Composer Lyricist: Kyle Tonoli
Composer Lyricist: Linus Altman-Kurosaki
Composer Lyricist: Ryan Raddon
Composer Lyricist: Steve Mits
Composer Lyricist: Trevor Klaiman

Auto-generated by YouTube.

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The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: Autumn Sunglasses

Your Austin game writer thought you might appreciate this video: Autumn Sunglasses.
Provided to YouTube by Redeye Worldwide

Autumn Sunglasses · Robyn Hitchcock

Robyn Hitchcock

? BMG/Chrysalis Music

Released on: 2017-04-21

Artist: Robyn Hitchcock
Composer: Robyn Hitchcock

Auto-generated by YouTube.

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The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: How is Trevor Bauer Cheating And Why Nobody Cares

Your Austin game writer thought you might appreciate this video: How is Trevor Bauer Cheating And Why Nobody Cares.
Video, includes clips shot and owned by Momentum go Subscribe to them
Momentums Youtube Channel:
Like and Subscribe
Twitter: @Baseballdoesnt
Instagram: @baseballdoesntexist
Tik Tok:@bbldoesntexist
#sports #baseball #mlb

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The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: Broken Head

Your Austin game writer thought you might appreciate this video: Broken Head.
Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group

Broken Head · Catherine Wheel


? 1993 Mercury Records Limited

Released on: 1993-01-01

Producer: Gil Norton
Associated Performer, Guitar, Vocals: Rob Dickinson
Associated Performer, Guitar, Vocals: Brian Futter
Associated Performer, Bass Guitar: Dave Hawes
Associated Performer, Drums: Neil Sims
Composer Lyricist: Brian Futter
Composer Lyricist: Rob Dickinson
Composer Lyricist: Neil Sims

Auto-generated by YouTube.

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“My Cat Won’t Drink Water”: Here’s a Solution

“The cat won’t drink!” says your roommate. “The vet says he’s got to drink more and not drinking water is making him sick!”

This isn’t your typical videogame blog post, but I just thought I would share my lifehack for all you cat-lovers out there. Cat dehydration is a big problem. Have you struggled with putting water bowls all over and cat bubblers that stub your toe and make noise that neither you nor your cat like?

Cats Won’t Drink Because They Usually Don’t Have To

So as you know, cats are skittish creatures who sometimes don’t fully adjust to urban life. Cats (and dogs) are predators that historically got a lot of water from the prey they ate in the wild. In an urban setting, especially when they’re often fed dry commercially-made food, pets really need water and they don’t know how to get it.

Lack of water for cats is a dire problem. Kidney function is dependent on good water intake (one in three cats has kidney problems in their life), and there are a myriad of other related health issues too.

Dehydration also causes obesity because, just like with humans, we often overeat when our bodies are parched for water because instinctively we are trying to get water from food. Have you ever gone to the kitchen hungry, grabbed a glass of water, found yourself parched, drained your water, and discovered that you weren’t all that hungry? Yep… like that. For a parched cat, this is the worst because the cat is overeating and exacerbating its dehydration by eating too much dry food.

Give Your Cat the Thirst for Water

Okay, you’re probably sick of reading the background so let’s just get to the answer for the “my cat won’t drink water” puzzle: it’s this — . It’s a $3 bucket.

How do I know this? Because my cat loves it, and because my old roommate’s cat loved it. In fact, she used to complain about how her cat would always drink from the bucket instead of her fancy cat bowl. We discovered this by accident because I like to keep the water I run when warming the flow before a shower and later use it for household chores or flushing the toilet. As a result, I often had the bucket sitting in the bathroom full of water, and her cat would drink it constantly.

We theorized about the reasons. Was it because the bucket had some concrete encrusted on it, which tasted like the culverts of her wild youth? Was it because the water was somehow different, or the plastic? We don’t know for sure.

My theory is pretty simple: I think it’s ergonomics. If I were a cat, I’d prefer to drink water that I don’t have to crank my neck to drink. Some believe that some cats feel vulnerable when hunched over a bowl, or that their whiskers are impeded by the bowl, which blinds them to threats. Measure your cat and make sure the bucket is right, but it should be a perfect fit for most adult cats. If you’ve got a kitten, adjust accordingly. Maybe a Tupperware tub would do the job.

But I have a few more theories, too. A cat might be able to see the surface of the water more readily at that angle. Certainly it smells more like water, and I suspect a bucket is more comforting, like a deep pond or lake, than a dish.

Lastly, I think a cat would prefer to drink water from a bucket because they’re suspicious creatures. Their senses are honed for survival; they don’t want to drink something foul accidentally, like a pool of oil that has a thin layer of rainwater on top. If they aren’t 100% sure it’s clean, pure water, they’re not excited.

I’ve also found that adding a bit of water — an ounce or two — to my cat’s dry food has also increased her water intake and it seems to make her more interested in drinking as well.

I hope you find this helpful — please comment below if so, or if you have feedback!

Red Dead Online Sale: $5 for 3 More Days

Red Dead Online, Red Dead Redemption 2’s online sibling, is a remarkable $5 on all platforms until the 15th. It’s also backwards compatible with the PS5 and Xbox Series X. If you’ve always wanted to horse around in the Old West like a GTA gansta, is RDO it worth it? What’s it like and what’s the difference between RDO and RDR2?

Red Dead Online vs. Red Dead Redemption

RDO does feel rather complete, if very open-world. There are even a number of story missions that go on quite a while; I haven’t gotten to the end of them after about 2 weeks of fairly intense but also unfocused play. It’s like a GTA game with slightly simplified and more generic story missions. You’re not a well-crafted outlaw with a long backstory like RDR2; you’re the somewhat faceless (and voiceless) loner that you designed when starting the game, and you can skew good or bad, but there’s no history to you.

That’s okay, because the world is well-populated with activities like PvP races and gunfights, free-range wildlife hunting/fishing, stranger and mail clerk missions, whole-world events, and of course organic encounters with other players, which can be hostile or friendly.

It’s honestly a ton of content and entertainment for $5, especially if you’re an Amazon Prime member or an outdoorsy type. Why these two exceptions? Well, if you’re a Prime member, you can get a stellar starter package, including a valuable bounty hunter license (which unlocks fun bounty missions and fantastic legendary bounty missions), just by visiting the Amazon Gaming site and linking your accounts. And if you’re someone who uses pine needles for bedding, snacks, and deodorant, RDO is your perfect gaming environment, because you can spend hours tracking game, collecting herbs for tonics, and exploring the lush environments, which are varied and remarkably lifelike, if not quite to the visual caliber of a game like Horizon: Zero Dawn.

It also doesn’t hurt that Rockstar is fully committed to this game, more so than RDR. RDO generates income from impatient gamers who want to buy their way to in-game power through microtransactions. RDR does not. So RDO is getting updates and RDR isn’t.

Beginner Tips for Red Dead Online

Red Dead is fun and (like any other MMORPG) grindy… but not bad. The starting weapons are actually very good and there are lots of rotating discounts. Pay attention to those awards and discounts; thanks to one of mine, I got a free horse that is one of the best transports in the game.

I spent a lot of my early gaming hunting, which is profitable, and a lot more profitable than playing humans in the RDO poker rooms. (Humans playing with fake money are almost impossible to bluff out of a pot.) But the story missions, race circuits, and whole-world events are much more profitable.

Sadly you do need to work up a decent amount of gold (if you’re lacking Prime) to get a bounty hunter or trader license, which adds a lot more fun.

My quick RDO beginner advice:

  • make sure you’re always in DEFENSIVE mode to avoid getting hassled by PvPers, although there is no cost to being killed (left on d-pad > online settings). This gets set to Offensive after most activities.
  • do the story missions which are easy and fun
  • do at least one daily challenge per day to earn gold (left on dpad > challenges)
  • accept the posse invitations and participate in the whole-world events that you like; they can be profitable
  • swim and fist fight to increase your stamina and health
  • forget about profit! Many players are suffering from RDO greed, trying to buy that fancy hat or provision their camp with extra gear. Seek out the stuff you enjoy doing, and don’t grind just to get pretty shit. That’s a bad way to game, and a bad way to live.

Is RDO a Good Game or a Great Game?

Gonna have to say “good” from my POV, although there’s a lot here. The core gameplay loop is much like GTA: wander around, look for juicy missions and activities, and buy better gear. At heart I’m just not a huge fan of open-world games, especially MMORPGs. I’m allergic to grinding and bored by the open-world formula, which often breaks down to “wandering through town trying to find something cool to do.” To me, 30% of open-world gaming is like channelsurfing and waiting for fun to happen. Sure, it happens, but I’d much rather be in a well-designed encounter that has stakes and some atmosphere.

To be fair, I’m just scratching the surface, and RDO did just up the ante for me. I finally got my bounty hunter license and I went on a legendary bounty mission. I was matched up with the Wolfman, a squirrely bad guy who lives by a wintery lake in the far north, surrounded by his pack of pet wolves. “Bring some predator bait,” it advised.

Immediately I had a smile on my face. It didn’t matter that I had trouble with the finicky weapon draw UI and got ripped up by three wolves well before finding the Wolfman. It didn’t matter that the Wolfman, when I found him, came running out into the open with his pet bear, yelling something random, where I quickly put a bullet in his head. It didn’t matter that, when I turned my repeater on the pet bear, I realized that the bear wasn’t a pet and shouldn’t be antagonized. (It was a wild bear, and it was a juggernaut.) What mattered was that, unlike a lot of the other missions in the game, this felt like an adventure, not a insta-quest that fell out of the developer’s random generator.

The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: Kitten Zoom Filter Mishap

Your Austin game writer thought you might appreciate this video: Kitten Zoom Filter Mishap.
This is a live stream of virtual court proceedings in the 394th Judicial District Court of Brewster, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presidio Counties, Judge Roy Ferguson presiding. Any capture of video or audio of this stream is prohibited, and may constitute contempt of court with a punishment of up to $500 fine and 180 days in the county jail.

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The Austin Videogame Writer Liked on YouTube: LASTING IMAGES: alternatives to traditional burial

Your Austin game writer thought you might appreciate this video: LASTING IMAGES: alternatives to traditional burial.
You know the saying “death and taxes….,” but tax time comes only once a year and death comes approximately ninety six times per minute. What will you do when your minute arrives? Enter Lasting Images, a feature documentary showing the lighter side of contemporary choices in human remains disposal, of which there are many:
Traditional burial– still the first choice among Americans today, but
Cremation is rapidly gaining. The growing alternative Green movement, put on the map by the popular HBO series six feet under (oh, and they got it all wrong!); and finally, human composting. You would have to have a sense of humor to make a machine that mulches a loved one.

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Cracker Jack Prizes Are Dead, Slain by Crap Webgames

Cracker Jack snacks used to be a real treat when I was a kid. Peanuts and caramel popcorn, hell yeah! And the prizes, though they were always cheap, were sometimes a delight. I remember getting a little plastic magnifying glass that was useful and fun, and little toy planes and cars.

I picked up a 3-pack of Cracker Jacks yesterday for some retro snacking. The prize, though, was a little sticker than you can redeem for free play on some kind of game on a page of webgames. I say “some kind” because the games are all 100% broken (Chrome, Windows 10 Home). When you try to start the game, the site attempts to save an index.htm file on your local drive and then loads a blank page. I’ve tried it several times with the same result, using two different stickers.

I’m ambivalent about the webgame approach for prizes. I approve of Frito-Lay’s decision to stop making cheap plastic junk, but a subpar webgame is not going to increase the amount of joy in the world, much less this travesty.

I’d much rather see them design something responsible AND fun. Shouldn’t the minds at Frito-Lay be up for that challenge? Maybe a figure or spaceship made of recycled cardboard? A puzzle? What about a few seeds and instructions on how to cultivate them, or a science experiment with a supporting Youtube video? Hopefully Cracker Jack gets cracking on this; the current effort is lazy and slipshod.

Cracker Jack is owned by Frito-Lay/Pepsi. Sure, it may not make as much money as Diet Pepsi, but this is a sad and undignified way to defile a classic American tradition. RIP, Cracker Jack prizes… at least for now!