Video game players take a shot at being frugal (LA Times)

The game industry has held up better than many other forms of entertainment during the recession as consumers cut back on their discretionary spending. That’s because many see games as a good value since most titles feature dozens of hours of play.

[...] From January through May, gamers surveyed by Nielsen bought an average of 3.4 used games, up 31% from the same period last year. Although they’re still buying new games, one third of their purchases were used discs, up 13% from last year. -Alex Pham

[True. According to my PS3, I logged over 52 hours playing Street Fighter IV; over 6 days playing Call of Duty: World at War; and over 6 days playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. I avoid purchasing used games because I'm a game snob (much like how hate buying used textbooks), but with things like eBay, I am able to buy new games at used prices. BK]

category: Gaming, Popular Culture, Rhetoric and Poetics, Technology    

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years (SquareEnix)


[Seeing this game almost makes me want a Wii. Almost. BK]

category: Gaming, Popular Culture, Rhetoric and Poetics, Technology    

Reading Comics Rhetorically: Orality, Literacy, and Hybridity in Comic Narratives (Scan)

[Here is my first refereed journal article publication! BK]

category: Acceptances, Life, Popular Culture, Rhetoric and Poetics    

Celebrating 2 Years with Elizabeth (Discourse Chronicle)

[Elizabeth and I celebrated our two-year relationship anniversary with a day at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH. I never rode a roller coaster in my life, but I love them now. Here are some YouTube videos showing which rides we experienced. BK]

Top Thrill Dragster (Launches at 120mph with a 400ft. drop – My Favorite Roller Coaster)

Magnum XL 200 (Top speed = 72mph with a 195ft. drop) – Elizabeth’s Favorite Roller Coaster

Raptor (Top speed = 57mph with a 119ft. loop) – Elizabeth’s Other Favorite Roller Coaster

Millennium Force (Top speed = 92mph with a 300ft. drop)

Gemini (Top speed = 60mph with a 118ft. drop)

Iron Dragon (Top speed = 40mph with a 76ft. drop)

Blue Streak (Top speed = 40mph with a 78ft. drop)

category: Life, Popular Culture    

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow E3 09 Trailer (G4)

[Here is another game I am looking forward to next year. Patrick Stewart being on-board is awesome. BK]

category: Gaming, Popular Culture, Rhetoric and Poetics, Technology    

Final Fantasy XIV Online Trailer (G4)

[SquareEnix announced FF14 Online will be released in 2010 as well as long-awaited FF13. I resisted FF11 Online because otherwise, as my best friend Nick Stepaniak says, "Nobody would ever see me again," but I anticipate many lost hours after next year BK]

category: Gaming, Popular Culture, Rhetoric and Poetics, Technology    

The Beatles: Rock Band E3 Debut Trailer (G4)

[E3 is a major conference for video game developers and fans that often features official announcements about upcoming games. I believe Beatles Rock Band may be the best Rock Band game to date and certainly puts Guitar Hero to shame (sorry, Guitar Hero fans). BK]

category: Gaming, Popular Culture, Rhetoric and Poetics, Technology    

End of the Semester [Spring 2009] (Discourse Chronicle)

[Theme song: Theme from Mission: Impossible. I always attempt selecting an appropriate song for each semester as evidence that despite seemingly increasing levels of insanity with teaching, research, classes, and personal life happenings, I maintain my unique and dry sense of humor. I am also reminded that things get done and done well whenever each semester ends and that never fails to amaze me. A few nights ago, I talked with Nick Stepaniak (my best friend of 16 years now) and he said I become more intellectually intimidating as I complete more semesters toward my PhD, which is something I never believe. All I know is where my passions lie and I love pursuing them as well as talking about them.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth successfully defended her dissertation and became Dr. Elizabeth Fleitz! Elizabeth found work next fall as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Southeast Missouri State University as well! We returned last week from finding her an apartment in Cape Girardeau, MO and she recently purchased a 2009 Chevy Malibu. We are celebrating being together for two years coming up in June.

Now I am preparing for prelim exams, which involves: reading 70 sources from a core reading list about Rhetoric and Composition; answering 3 questions from my committee in 8-10 pages per question; and developing a specialized portfolio with an extensive revision project, a course proposal and syllabus, and a review essay based on 30 self-selected sources as a specialized list. I imagine that sounds intense, but now is when I start working with my ideas under less supervision, which is something I looked forward to happening from the beginning. However, things seem like an impossible mission because I feel like I know nothing at all without courses. A strange feeling I imagine quickly passes. BK]

category: Life    

The United States Postal Service® Previews Simpsons® Stamps (USPS)

“We are excited to celebrate The Simpsons on postage stamps,” said U.S. Postal Service Executive Director of Stamp Services David Failor. “Eyebrow-raising to say the least, this witty, well-written pop icon continues to irreverently satire its parody of a middle-class family as it lampoons American culture. The Simpsons stamps, which includes known philatelists Bart Simpson, will serve as a great opportunity to interest youngsters into stamp collecting.” -USPS

category: Humor, Popular Culture, Rhetoric and Poetics, Television    

Scan: Journal of Arts, Media, Culture (Discourse Chronicle)

This article takes an interesting approach and is potentially a valid addition to the scholarship on comics. However, at present it is seriously flawed and is not publishable in a refereed journal. The author would need to make substantial corrections to the article, rewriting significant sections of the argument, for it to be published.

[Here is a "revise and resubmit" for an article I submitted about reading comics through a rhetorical lens. I plan on working with this submission further toward publication, but I do not understand how I misunderstood a source that I use regularly in my work. I am hoping things will become clearer after I revisit the article. BK]

category: Comics, Life, Popular Culture, Revisions, Rhetoric and Poetics    

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