Confessions of a Movie Snob – 2015 Year in Review

Confessions of a Movie Snob

We are joined by critic Edward Douglas for our annual year-in-review show. We all give our top movies of 2015!


Justice City United Issue 35 – Aftershocks

Justice City Logo

One year has passed since issue 34, and the aftershocks of the year's events resonate throughout the world. The heroes are left picking up the pieces as people adjust to the new world, new heroes make themselves known, and old problem becomes a new concern.


Justice City United 2015 Christmas Special – Crisis on Christmas

Justice City Logo

What the heroes hope to be a peaceful holiday season turns decidedly strange when someone threatens the beliefs and hopes of children across the world, by holding Santa Claus hostage! If something isn’t done, the world may be denied the hope and joy of the Christmas season!

This is a pre-generated adventure that was modified for a special Christmas session of the game, out of regular continuity, featuring the regular players (some with their new characters) Jeremy (Cerberus), Robin (Blue Streak), Beth (Persephone), Rowan (Alexandria), and Noah (Hayate).

We've changed the lineup, as you can see, and when episode 35 posts soon, you'll get the full update as to what's happened in the campaign's long downtime.


Confessions of a Movie Snob – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Confessions of a Movie Snob

It's baaaaaack!

Confessions of a Movie Snob began as the Red Phone Zone many years ago, and has been a friend of the show (what with me being a co-host on it almost since it's inception) for all that time. It's back now, slightly retooled, condensed, and ready to talk movies with my good friend Aaron Hoover.

It's also moved under the umbrella of the Gamer's Haven Podcast as more of a technicality, but will be supported through the main site here.

All the old episodes will be available for download on the site as soon as possible.

In this episode, Aaron and I talk about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a small movie made by a small company, Disney.


Updates from the Crazy House


Here's an update as to where we are ...

I have two episodes of Justice City in the bag that need editing, and two or three episodes of Confessions of a Movie Snob that will be posted ASAP.

I'm not sure the status of the other campaigns, especially the ones run by Andre. He's been very busy and has not got back with me on whether or not he will continue to post content on the Gamer's Haven Podcast.

As for the regular show, it's still on indefinite hiatus with some pretty serious real life concerns taking up the time of one of the hosts. I can't elaborate, but it's not me.

I'm also aware that none of our old feeds work in iTunes. Since Apple refuses to let me directly control our feeds and won't let me update them manually, we are not going to continue to wrestle with them. If you want to subscribe to the show, please do so with the links provided on the sidebar.

I'm also repairing the old posts as fast as I can, but it's going to be a slow process. They will be fixed, but it will take me a while to do it. Sorry for the delay.


Looking for Contributors


While life continues to consume Jeremy, Nathan, Noah, and I, we're hoping to get back to recording on a monthly schedule as soon as possible.

That being said, we are very much wanting more things to happen on the Gamer's Haven Podcast website.

We're looking for contributing writers, podcasters, and streamers to help contribute to the content on this website, whether it's in the form of reviews, new shows, more actual play - as long as it's associated with gaming in some variety or another, we'd like to offer you a platform with which to exercise your joy of the hobby.

There is no compensation here - this is completely on a volunteer basis. But, if you want to talk about games, we want this to be a place to do it.

Expect some things to shake up here at the Gamer's Haven Podcast, and expect us to be around for a long time (next year is, after all, our 10 year anniversary).

Anyway, let us know if you want to contribute to the Gamer's Haven Podcast!


Update and Shakings


As you can see, the website it being worked on ... again. We let our web hosting expire and have to upload everything (that's hundreds of gigabytes) back onto the website, and then we have to fix the URLs of each and every episode ...

So, that's over 1,000 posts that need attention. We (by "we," I mean me, Ethan) are working on it as fast as we can. As episodes become available, they'll reappear on the website and in the podcast feeds.

Speaking of podcast feeds, you can see to the left the subscription links are there for the main podcast and the main actual play feed. We're working on having another page with a comprehensive listing of the podcast with feed URLs, but that will take time.  Please be patient with us as we rebuild and reboot in the near future.

Thanks to everyone who keeps checking the site and checking to see if the show is still alive.  It is, but the usual excuses are why we have not been releasing episodes.  Again, thank you for your patience!


Not Dead …


We're just pining for the fjords.

We haven't given up on the Gamer's Haven Podcast. As usual, life has made doing this show nigh impossible over the last five months. We've all been dealing with some serious life issues in one for or another.

We appreciate your patience and hope that you've stayed with us and will continue to stay with us.

What would you like to see from the Gamer's Haven?


Digital Game-Based Learning: How video games can be utilized as learning tools


Video games are often viewed merely as a form of entertainment and rarely have they been seen as instruments of learning. Yet, researchers and others alike have found a way to turn video games into platforms of positive change.

As times have progressed to the digital age, video game developers are constantly searching for ways to reach a wider audience. Whether it’s gaming behemoth Capcom teaming up with Gaikai in order to provide a streaming service to the latter’s affiliates, or UK-based gaming company Gaming Realms teaming up with Bear Group Ltd. in order to launch the Spin Genie site, technology is the future and no company can succeed without it, no matter what the business objectives are. Everyone understands that we have been fully submerged into a digital world, thus technology has undoubtedly become a vital part of our everyday lives. We spend so much of our time using various forms of technology, but rather than having it consume our time, it should be utilized as a strategy to enrich our living experiences.

Children, adults, and everyone in between all learn through real-life application, yet how much real life experience can a student receive when education is limited to textbooks? Marc Prensky explains that teachers, or what he calls “digital immigrants”, have to adapt to the learning strategies appropriate for the students, or the “digital natives”. This generation of learners has been immersed in technology much longer than the digital immigrants, and so they must implement learning acquisition methods for the most effective outcomes, particularly digital game-based learning.

Professor and Game Designer Katie Salen saw an opportunity for children to learn through unlikely methods like video games, which initiated her to build a New York public school surrounded by digital game-based learning called Quest 2 Learn. Just like any video game, the goals of the school are quest based. A fellow Quest 2 Learn educator explains that they’re “trying to prove that game design can help kids think deeper and more abstractly about everything else… it is this generation’s mode of discourse. It’s a fully mainstreamed form of art like cinema is. A hundred years ago you couldn’t study cinema in school. Now every school has a cinematography class”.

Although it is a relatively new phenomenon for teaching methodologies, this digital strategy is making headway in the education industry. Educators need to understand that video games can be used to simulate real-life problems, which will then teach students the necessary skills for critical thinking, and essentially prepare them for the real world.


Post Wedding Survival


Believe it or not, we survived the wedding. Attached are a few of the photos, which may not be as exciting as a new Actual Play for GHP but let me say it was a lot more work. I should be able to resume the normal weekly posts next week now that we have wrapped up both the wedding and mortgage in one week.