Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

There’s something genuinely magical about something that is unequivocally bad. A game, a movie, an album, it doesn’t matter. They can all be bad, so bad in fact that somehow that makes them great. Call me a masochist, but I remember buying a game many years ago because of how badly Game Informer reviewed it. “It sucks in a vomitous, spirit-crushing kind of way,” I believe is what they said. They had me at “vomitous,” I was immediately sold.

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Playing Apple Arcade games on an iPhone 12 with a Backbone One controller

When a friend first sent me a link to the Backbone One, I brushed it off. It just wasn’t something I found interesting. But as I’ll explain, once I had it in my hands, my thoughts completely changed. The main thing that stood out to me at first was the design. Including the Razer Kishi, all of the mobile controllers I had seen before looked bulky and quite frankly bad compared to Backbone. Backbone, on the other hand, was much slimmer and more nicely designed.

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The final game code seen on my Pocket CHIP

PICO-8 is a fantasy console designed by Joseph White of Lexaloffle Games. The hardware specifications have been codified in what I would consider an emulator of sorts. Once downloaded, it can be used to play games as well as develop them, design graphics, and compose sound effects and music. You could even run PICO-8 on a Raspberry Pi, or I personally use a Pocket CHIP handheld computer from the now-defunct Next Thing Co. There have been some pretty incredible PICO-8 games developed despite its very limiting specs. The team behind Celeste even built a PICO-8 version of the game as a prototype before making the final game.

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Voicemeeter by VB-Audio is a great little piece of software for Windows. For content creators, in particular, I think it’s in your best interest to learn how to use it. There are a few versions of Voicemeeter, each bigger than the last, but I like to use the standard Voicemeeter. It gives you an additional Virtual Input device and a Virtual Output device. My favorite way to use this is to separate my Discord audio to control it independently or remove it altogether from my streams or recordings.

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As we’ve discussed before, I have been a Pokémon fan since Red and Blue came out many, many years ago. When I saw Pokémon Let’s Go: Pikachu and Let’s Go: Eevee, like many others, I was excited for the opportunity to experience the Kanto region again. At that time, I wasn’t following Pokémon anymore, so I missed the announcement of these two new Mythical Pokémon. I eventually heard about them on the Nintendo Power Podcast. They are a set of Mythical Pokémon explicitly introduced as a tie-in between Pokémon Let’s Go and Pokémon GO on mobile.

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Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

You may have already heard this news break somewhere else on the Internet or perhaps on Twitter. But it seems like Netflix is going to dive headfirst into the video game streaming market within the upcoming year. Many people are comparing it to Google Stadia, but I think they will be different style offerings. Netflix’s business model is subscriptions. They want to get you to keep paying that fee every month. If they can include video games and raise your price by $6 a month, they will. Just like they did when adding 4K or multiple simultaneous streams. However, in this Bloomberg article, it sounded like they don’t currently plan to charge more, though I’m sure they eventually will.

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My Panasonic Lumix G7 with 20mm 1.8 Panasonic Lens
My G7 with a 25mm f/1.7 Lens

A couple of years ago, I bought a Panasonic Lumix G7 mirrorless camera. Folks like EposVox were touting it as one of the best budget cameras you could buy. It was capable of recording 4K video, had high-quality interchangeable lenses, and was very affordable compared to its competition. I wanted to use it to record the occasional one-off video and to use during live streams. It could produce a better-looking and higher framerate video than the trusty Logitech C920 I had at the time.

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Mario Kart 7 on a New Nintendo 3DS
Mario Kart 7 on a New Nintendo 3DS

Back in 2019, I attended the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. While I was there, I picked up all the handheld Mario Kart games that came out over the years since I skipped over them when they were initially released. So I got Mario Kart Super Circuit, Mario Kart DS, and Mario Kart 7. I planned to play Mario Kart 7 first, but it already had existing save data on the game card.

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Ten Switch games in a Game Boy clamshell case
Ten Nintendo Switch games in a Game Boy clamshell case

When planning for a trip a while back, I found a cool little hack for safely bringing ten Nintendo Switch games with me. I have the official Nintendo Carrying Case, which only has slots for five game cards. While that might seem like a decent number for a short trip, I have the attention span of a goldfish when it comes to video games, and I wanted to bring more than that. I didn’t want to take each game’s entire case with me, and I didn’t want to keep loose cards in my bag or the mesh pocket of my carrying case. So I looked around my apartment for something that could hold a few more games.

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