Tag Archives: Gaming

The Face Behind the Name

What’s up guys! Happy Tuesday!

After many failed attempts/reboots and cuddling with my dog to not freak out while I waited, I was finally able to get my computer up and running again! Hopefully, this will be the last time my computer revolts against me. This has already been a hectic week with the premiere of the podcast! The first three episodes are already out there on iTunes and Podbean so go check them out! We’re going over a variety of topics concerning Stranger Things in episodes 1 & 2 as well as violence and gaming in episode 3. We’ve been so excited to bring to you guys and we hope you enjoy!

Going right into today’s topic, I’ll be talking about the possible controversy surrounding CB Cebulski, who has just been appointed Marvel’s Editor in Chief. Just a few days later, BleedingCool’s Rich Johnston broke the story that CB had used the name “Akira Yoshida” as a pen name. A cursory Google search will pull up some comics with that author as well as news articles and a joke Wikipedia page. Cebulski started working as a manga editor in 1997 for Central Park Media, an American multimedia company that dealt with East Asian media. He left in 2001 and started doing freelance editing for many titles already under Marvel. Marvel hired him in 2002, first as a writer for Marvel’s Mangaverse and then became an associate editor. In 2006, he left the company for several months to pursue freelance writing and editing, working closely on some Image titles. By the end of 2006, he was back working for Marvel as an editor/talent liason. With this new position, he was able to travel the world and meet creators, who were in their prime or had raw talent, to bring into the Marvel-verse. He brought on creators like David LaFuente, Steve McNiven, Adi Granov and Matteo Scalera, to name a few. He was promoted in 2010 to Senior VP of Creator and Content Development. He oversaw a team to recruit, manage and coordinate the creators and editors. In 2016, he was sent to Shanghai and made Marvel’s VP of International Business Development and Brand Management, which helped develop the Marvel brand in Asia for over a year.

You may be wondering when Akira Yoshida first appeared in all of this. From the start of 2004 to the end of 2005, Yoshida started to appeared in comics, with his first publications being with Dark Horse. A different editor at Marvel liked the work and wanted Yoshida to work for Marvel.  He made the jump to Marvel not long after he appeared, writing miniseries comics like Elektra: The Hand and Kitty Pride: Shadow and Flame. He even had a backstory about his life in Japan and America, which basically made a fictional character. Just as quickly as he appeared, he vanished out of nowhere. Apparently, he was set to write something else for Marvel, which fell through with his disappearance. Rumors have always surrounded Yoshida, the man who never appeared at conventions and no one ever talked to on the phone. All interviews were done via email, which was very strange for an up and coming writer. Several people, like Rich Johnston and Brian Cronin, have inquired on whether or not the name was a psuedonym and some wondered if he was even real. Those rumors had been dispeled by Marvel’s senior employees, like Mike Marts, who has stated that he had a meal with Yoshida and talked Godzilla. The man behind the mask remained a mystery for 10 years, even Cebulski was asked if he was Yoshida, which he promptly denied. He chose to wait ten years to admit to something he’d been asked about before, which I find to be interesting because he had a chance before he became EiC to share this and to get it out in the open. Why he said no, I don’t think we will ever know, but it’s food for thought.

The reason I say this is a possible controversy pertains to the fact that the outrage/lack of reaction seems to be evenly matched. The most morally controversial topics is the issue of yellowface and whether or not it could be applied in this case. I’ve been scouring  the internet, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and have seen a bevy of responses to that. Some Asian creators have posted about their outrage, stating that it’s taking away from ACTUAL Asian creators and writers and artists, which very fair and probably true, to what extent I don’t know. HuffPost interviewed two Asian writers, Joshua Luna and Trung Le Nguyen, who pointed out some key points about Marvel and their Asian representation, like the white washing of “The Ancient One”. While Cebulski stated that he has already been punished and that he “learned his lesson”, there are many who don’t believe that he has and think that he should step down. There’s also a lot of people, including Larry Hama, who have stated that Cebulski has done a lot of Asian creators at Marvel and they are unbothered by it. While I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes at Marvel, what I can share as a person of color is that I’ve known people who have done phone interviews and then gone to the in house interview and had the interviewer do a double take and look a little take aback because of their race. More food for thought.

The other issues it brings it up is an ethics issue, one with CB and possibly with Marvel. At the time of his first tenure with Marvel, there was a policy saing that Marvel staffers weren’t allowed to write or draw comic books and if they were able to get approved to write, that they weren’t to get paid over their salary. Originally, it was commonplace for staffers to write for Marvel as well but it was seen as bad practice and discontinued. By  creating this name, he was able to circumvent the current policy to work as a writer which is really tricky. Again, I don’t work at Marvel or have any insight on the inside, but if he was being paid as Akira, which I’m presumig he was, and paid as CB, he would be bringing home two checks which breaks that policy in half like a Kit Kat. It also put him over others because he could control which pitches Akira wrote and which comics he pitched to write, which meant he could have gotten bigger projects than others because he wanted them. The last issue is whether or not Marvel knew about it. According to BleedingCool in the above linked article, the senior offcials who met with Yoshida apparently met with a Japanese manga translator, at least that’s the story. There’s also a possibility that Marvel knew all about what he was doing, which would explain the random gap in his Marvel career. This is all speculation, again, and some things which popped into my mind when going over this shituation.


Do you think Marvel knew? Do you think that he was racist or did something stupid? Leave your opinion in the comments below! Remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, all located in the sidebar and to listen to the first three episodes of the podcast!

That’s all I have for this week, oddballs!



Let’s Talk: SOMA

Happy Wednesday!

Hopefully, you didn’t miss me too much on Monday, things have been extremely hectic on my end getting ready for the upcoming holidays as well as with work but don’t worry! Check out the website tomorrow for a special Thanksgiving post!I hope everyone is having a great week! I’m excited for the next couple of days because of time spent with family and loved ones as well as finally having a couple of days off!

This is the working title for something I’d like to do from time to time called ‘Let’s Talk’ where I talk about things in gaming, comics and pop culture that have an interesting twist to them that makes me want to read/watch/play that media more. It’s a work in progress so please, bear with me. This week, I’m looking forward to talking to you guys about a game I heard about a couple of months ago that was released for PC, Mac, Linux, and PlayStation, with a release date for Xbox One on December 1st, named SOMA. 


This game was made by Frictional Games, an independent game publisher/developer from Sweden, that prides itself on developing their own technology to fuel their games. They’ve only developed five titles but the names should be familiar to you such as the Penumbra series, the Amnesia collection and, of course, SOMA. While I’ve never played any of the Penumbra series, I enjoyed all of the Amnesia collection and continue to go back to it, especially since it was released for PS4 Plus members for free back in October! Having always been a fan of independent developers, when I heard about this game, I was so pumped to take a look at it. Released back in September of 2015, SOMA is a science fiction horror game which deals with a lot of different topics all centering around what it means to be human. Like other games from this developer, you are in the first person perspective as you explore this facility. They use a lot of psychological horror elements as opposed to common scare elements which are found in most games for this genre.

This game takes place in an underwater research center called PATHOS-II, that is in apparent disarray at the beginning of the game, and follows the character Simon Jarrett, who has brain damage due to an event that happens prior to the game. Following him throughout this deep sea lab, he finds one other by the name of Catherine, who understands what has happened in this lab and acts as his guide for the duration of the game. As you adventure through the map with/out Catherine, you find yourself immersed in these amazing scenes, from blood-drenched grates to the plants and sea life when in the ocean. Unlike some of the other games they have published and developed, this one has very few objects that can be interacted with in-game, but the environment is still a puzzle in it of itself. A good chunk of what happens in the game is figuring out where you need to be, where you are and how to get there without letting the robotic human-esque ‘monsters’ that are around every corner. Something really cool that this game does is in the modes they have, which are regular play with attacks and all the usual that would come with a horror game and a safe mode play. Safe mode doesn’t get rid of the monsters but turns them into more curious creatures that investigate you as opposed to attacking. One of the game’s developers, Thomas Grip, has said in previous interviews that while the game’s monsters help build the atmosphere they are trying to create, the stories they bring to the table aren’t that important to the larger themes of the game concerning identity and what it means to be human. With things like that in mind, it makes my interest in this game go from a 9 to a 50000. I’m super excited to purchase this game and play it on one of my consoles. It’s currently on PlayStation 4 for $29.99 and  Steam for $10.49

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and everyone stays odd!

Have a great one!


5 old games that deserve a re-boot

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Microsoft recently announced backward compatibility for some titles from the original Xbox, and it made me think about how much fun it would be to play a modern version of  older games. But which titles would be best suited for a re-boot? While there are probably hundreds of games that would make great current generation titles, I’ve managed to narrow it down to the 5 games I would like to see most.


1. The Bouncer (2001):

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This beat’ em up was co developed by SquarseSoft and Dream Factory for the PlayStation 2, it’s fast paced action packed and forces you to make decisions that matter. The decisions you make are influenced by which of the three main characters you are playing as so the story plays out differently based on which character you choose which gives the game very good re playabilty. This is why this title would lend itself well to today’s gamer.

2. Blood Omen 2 (2002):

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Blood Omen 2 follows a Vampire named Kain who seeks revenge for crimes committed against him. The creative story line, unique main character, and creatively designed weapons made it one of my favorite games to play on PlayStation 2 and I would love to see it make a return.

3. Star Wars Jedi Knight-Jedi Academy(2003):

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This game lets you play as a Jedi in training (think K.O.T.O.R meets Harry Potter) and even lets you play as human or an alien race of your choosing. Under the tutelage of Master Skywalker you embark on various missions to maintain peace across the galaxy. This game offered an experience that really made you feel as if you were a unique part of the Star Wars universe and would make a great candidate for a remastering.

4. Jade Empire (2005):

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Jade Empire takes place in Imperial China and allows you to play as a martial artist who is tasked with rescuing their instructor from an evil emperor. This is a well written action role-player that is a graphics upgrade away from being a modern-day best seller.

5. The Legend of Dragoon (1999): 

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This turn based single-player RPG is very similar to final fantasy in its play style but the story differs greatly. This game was considered challenging due to its complex attack combinations and difficult enemies but allowed players to feel accomplished as they progressed. I would love to see this game brought into current gen with a re boot or even a squeal.


Well that’s my list, let us know what games you think should be revived, and don’t forget to follow our Twitter and Facebook pages for updates and announcements.


Catch you Later Misfits,






The Gamer’s Guide to Mental Health


Pop quiz, Ready?

What’s the most important thing a Gamer must take care of at all times

A. Their Rig or Console?

B. Their insanely epic growing collection of games?

C. Their equipment (controllers, headsets, etc)

D. None of the above

Although all the above are important, they are not quite what I’m talking about. The most important thing a gamer must take care of is their mind. But why? Is it to stay sharp? Is it to keep up with the competition?  This week we are covering this past weekend’s twitchcon. One of the sessions was on streaming and mental health. It got me thinking and talking to my fellow hosts and I wanted to discuss a deeper issue. Video Games and Mental Health.

The Dark Side

Video games were introduced in the early 70’s and took the world of gamers by storm. It ripped us from the world of physical boards, cards and small pieces of plastic. Then pushed us into the age of intangible opponents and heroes we vicariously lived through for hours at a time. But it took less than a decade for the industry to come under fire.

In 76 a game known as Death Race a more advanced version of pong, that had players running down as many enemies as possible in an allotted amount of time. The controversy began when many became upset over the high pitched scream, and tiny gravestone that appeared whenever you killed your enemies. This led to the game being pulled off the shelves. In 82 gamer’s were introduced to Custer’s Revenge the game’s main objective was to cross a desert while dodging arrows to get to a native American girl who is held captive and rape her. (I kid you not)

15 years later the first Major lawsuit was filed against the gaming industry by Jack Thompson. He did so on behalf of the parents of three students who were killed in the Heath High School shooting. The shooter had regularly played violent video games, along with viewing pornographic websites, the argument being that he had become desensitized and more prone to violence.  A couple of months before, the ever controversial Grand Theft Auto made its debut to the world.

Just two years later the infamous event at Columbine would occur, this led many to take a harder look at the gaming industry as the suspects were allegedly fans of violent video games. Less than a decade Later a group of teenagers took the streets in the name of GTA performing an all-night crime spree. And in 2012 the tragic elementary school shooting at Sandy hook, cast the shooter as a fan of violent video games and attempted to reopen the discussion that Video games had a negative effect on the mental health of others.

Though these are just a small few of examples, video games have had an extensive bad rap for inspiring violence and being damaging to the mental condition. But is that really true? Can we really blame pixels and electronic interaction for the heinous acts of others? Or better yet if video games can be blamed for the negative, might there be a flip side to all this as well? Might others have been impacted positively by video games?

A little Gaming therapy

In 2009 studies showed that playing Tetris could actually help reduce the formation of traumatic memories. A researcher established the theory that playing Tetris can interrupt the memory processing in the hours succeeding a traumatic event. The result of the research proved that there is period following a traumatic event that the formation of traumatic memories can be interrupted.  If one was to seize the part of the brain that processes both visual and spatial aspects they could, in essence, Lessen traumatic memories before they truly set in.

A study in Oxford, UK, took 71 ER patients that within the previous 6 hours had been involved in traffic accidents and were enrolled into the study. Each had either witnessed or been a part of a life-threatening experience or seriously injured. 37 patients were randomly selected to play 20 minutes of Tetris. The other 34 did regular activities such as texting, watching TV, calling a loved one etc. A week after the study the 37 had reported having traumatic flashbacks 8.7 times after the event. The other 34 reported having 23.3 traumatic Flashbacks post incident. This study showed that just 20 minutes of play could potentially cut down traumatic memory forming by 62 percent. When followed up on a month later little difference was found between the two groups, but some believe it may just be due to the lower amount of time spent playing.

Other studies have shown that Video games may provide the following benefits:

· 3D video games may increase memory capacity. Per the Mario test, a study that had a 3rd of a group of 69 participants play Mario 3D world, a 3rd played angry birds and the final group played nothing. The group that played Mario did much better on the memory test, and the others did not show any improvement.

· Gaming may help reduce pain. A study back in 2012 showed that in 38 studies, games improved the overall outcome of 195 patients on all fronts both psychologically and physically.

· Video games can actually make some smarter. In 2013 Researchers took a few groups of non gamers and had them play phone games for an hour a day for about a month. They found that both action and non-action games improved the cognitive functions in all participants.

· Career boosters. Researchers have found that video games have been able to sharpen mental acuity as well as instill motivation based goal setting.

So while gaming has had its bad and good historical aspects, it is safe to say that video games have an impact on the mind. But what are other aspects that affect the gamers mind?

Strength in numbers

In 2011, a streaming community designed to not only bring gamers together but also allow for entertainment was launched. This innovative community was called Twitch. Twitch allowed gamers, and other internet entertainers to stream themselves doing the things they loved for their adoring public. Streamers found a place to showcase their skills and possibly make a living, and viewers found a place to watch and enjoy content they thoroughly enjoyed.  More than that Twitch has come to embody and embrace the term community. Despite the ever existing troll’s attempts to bring toxicity to streams, they are otherwise a positive place filled with laughter and often even education. Streamers find themselves in a position of helping others bring joy in darker times in their viewers lives. But who takes care of the Streamer? This brings us to the heart of the matter, a gamers own mental health must be the cornerstone of both entertaining or just recreational activities.

At Twitchcon this past weekend, Panelist discussed some of their own issues with maintaining mental health as well as tips they have for making sure that fellow gamers were both safe and mentally healthy. Some tips they provided were

· Being able to have and establish a routine.

· It being okay to take a break every now and again.

· Find hobbies outside of gaming.

· Learn to be honest with both yourself and those around you, If you’re not feeling ok it’s okay to talk about it.

Watching the twitchcon, I saw the many gamers that showed up and enjoyed themselves. Throngs of people converging on Long Beach, building connections and strengthening ones that already exist. This inspired me to think about one of the key components of maintaining your mental health as a gamer.


A German study in sports showed that solo Athletes are more likely to show symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts than team-based athletes. It is no secret that the expression no man is an island rings true in the mental health community. Often those who spend more time alone find that they are more depressed or deal with symptoms more often than those who interact with others. Even introverts such as myself still need the company of a few people in our circles.

Gaming communities such as Twitch, Rocket League, YouTube gaming etc are filled with individuals seeking and offering friendships and team building activities. The internet has made it so much easier for folks to reach out to people of all kinds of walks of life and form lasting bonds. This is an important aspect of mental health. Many believe that gaming leads to a very homebody type of lifestyle, but is that true? Not necessarily.

Take Twitchcon for example, or Pax, Dragoncon, and Game on Expo just to name a few. These are conventions held annually bringing gamers together to introduce new content and to unite them. But what if you can’t afford to go to these events or just don’t have the time? Meetup.com has created many groups to get gamers off the computers or consoles and into the real world.

The Gaming Industry

The gaming industry does not have a long history of acknowledging or even playing to the mental health of its consumers. This does not mean there aren’t some shining examples of games that have done just that.

Depression quest: A text Heavy, choose your own adventure type of game which centers on an unnamed person who struggles with depression.

Elude: A game originally designed to bring awareness of depression utilizing its backdrop in a thematic way.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice: This game focuses to extent on psychosis and the realities of often being caught in your own mind.

Actual sunlight: A short interactive indie game that actually sheds light on what it is like both being and interacting with a person who is suffering from depression. (Disclaimer: play this game with caution if you are currently dealing with bouts of depression)

These are just a few games that stand out in covering the difficult conversation of mental illness.

The pure and simple guide

All context aside the Gamer’s guide to mental health although heavy can be broken down a little simpler.

1.  Though we play video games for escapism, learn to keep the worlds in perspective. “Real life always comes first”

2.  Take time for yourself, do this by doing things that will lift you from comfort zone and into new and enjoyable passions.

3.  Find communities to join, both in world and out. Solitude is important we all need time to ourselves from time to time. However so is interaction, connecting with others and forming friendships keeps our minds healthy and strong.

4.  Do self-inventory, ask yourself:

Am I feeling sad or low for a period of 2 weeks or longer?

Do I feel like harming myself or others?

Am I not eating or sleeping enough?

How’s my mood?

5.  If you find that you are struggling with any of the above, seek help.

6.  Remember its just a game.

Personal Note

I am truly passionate about bringing awareness to mental illness and dealing with it. As one of those 50% diagnosed at a young age, I strongly believe that we must be ever aware of the challenges those struggling with mental illness face. I was diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder when I was 14, in its simplest term it is a hybrid of bipolar and schizophrenia.

I struggled with finding my place and also dealing with continuous emerging symptoms. I too turned to video games to help manage symptoms as well as escape the things occurring in my head. I want to encourage all that are struggling with mental illness, or parents, friends, and significant others be mindful of what is occurring with your loved ones or yourself. If you are concerned for the well being of yourself or someone else, try to get help and now you are not alone.

Take away

Ready for that pop quiz again?

What is the most important thing a gamer must take care of?

You got it their mind. We all love video games, or know someone who does. We love the idea of escaping, of building and winning. The thrill of competition and an impeccable story with all the thrills and intricacy we have grown to love. But the most important thing a gamer can do is take care of themselves. No matter how great you are on leader boards, or how many e-sports competitions you participate in, or even how big your collection is. None of that means anything if you aren’t 100%.

That’s all this week If this speaks to you or someone you know Share this. Comment down below with your takes on Mental Health and gaming. Follow the page for more information!