Prepare you mind for the apocalypse.

We all know having the proper supplies, tools, and even clothes for the apocalypse is vital. We prepare our bodies with exercise and diet, but how do we prepare our mind? How do we ready ourselves for the predators who will use mental tricks and manipulation to assert their will?
I recently read an article about Pick up Artistry or PUA. It’s a school of thinking and series of behaviors designed to coach men that women aren’t interested in to manipulate, bully, and otherwise deceive their way into bed.
Delightful.
There’s a book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss, about understanding and employing this technique that has a nearly perfect score on amazon with about 720 reviews. Overwhelmingly, these Seven Hundred and Twenty people, likely a vast majority of men found topics like “Selecting a Target” and “Isolating the Target” to be valuable information.
Read the book, not to become this kind of person but to recognize them when they approach you, your friends, your daughter. Explain to your friends and relative what it looks like to be manipulated by a Pick up Artist. Every potential victim needs to not only be confident in their own mind and cues it’s providing but also aware of what might be churning in the mind of that seemingly vulnerable man who needs help on the other side of those buildings.

We all know having the proper supplies, tools, and even clothes for the apocalypse is vital. We prepare our bodies with exercise and diet, but how do we prepare our mind? How do we ready ourselves for the predators who will use mental tricks and manipulation to assert their will?

I recently read an article about Pick up Artistry or PUA. It’s a school of thinking and series of behaviors designed to coach men that women aren’t interested in to manipulate, bully, and otherwise deceive their way into bed.

Delightful.

There’s a book, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss, about understanding and employing this technique that has a nearly perfect score on amazon with about 720 reviews. Overwhelmingly, these Seven Hundred and Twenty people, likely a vast majority of men  found topics like “Selecting a Target” and “Isolating the Target” to be valuable information.

Read the book, not to become this kind of person but to recognize them when they approach you, your friends, your daughter. Explain to your friends and relative what it looks like to be manipulated by a Pick up Artist. Every potential victim needs to not only be confident in their own mind and cues it’s providing but also aware of what might be churning in the mind of that seemingly vulnerable man who needs help on the other side of those buildings.

Because for all their placating and explanations of how harmless it is and how when a women “acts like she’s not interested she’s just playing games,” PUA is disturbingly similar to emotional abuse. That special kind of abuse that isolates the victim and makes them question their self worth so that the abuser can swoop in and be the hero in a situation that they caused.

There is nothing at all wrong with going out and trying to get laid. There is nothing at all wrong with using techniques to better “your game.”

The problem arises when the game is more important than the person being played. People who refuse to treat people like people are shitty people.

After spending three days immersed in a Mystery Method Corp (now Love Systems) seminar, Gene Weingarten expressed his uneasiness about “a step by step tutorial for men in how to pick up women, make them comfortable in your presence, and bed them, ideally within seven hours of your first meeting” and wondered aloud, “Is there something inherently wrong with the notion of seduction as a classroom-taught skill, complete with a long hierarchy of ‘lines’ that work, seemingly spontaneous topics of conversation that are anything but spontaneous, tricks for seeming ‘vulnerable’, and tips on how to behave so as to deliver subtle but effective nonverbal inducements to intimacy? [SOURCE]

It is vital that in all our preparations we recognize shitty people from the jump and never give them the upper hand. Recognize when people are playing at our emotions and trying to manipulate our minds by saying something so random and out of the blue that it confuses and thus disarms us[1. Yeah, that’s a technique.].

Read the books your predators are reading so you know if you’re being treated like prey.

A few other books to add to the Prepare Your Mind Reading List:

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker
In this empowering book, Gavin de Becker, the man Oprah Winfrey calls the US’s leading expert on violent behaviour, shows you how to spot even subtle signs of danger – before it’s too late. Shattering the myth that most violent acts are unpredictable, de Becker, whose clients include top Hollywood stars and government agencies, offers specific ways to protect yourself and those you love, including: how to act when approached by a stranger; when you should fear someone close to you; what to do if you are being stalked; how to uncover the source of anonymous threats or phone calls; the biggest mistake you can make with a threatening person; and more. Learn to spot the danger signals others miss. It might just save your life.

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Drawn from 3,000 years of the history of power, this is the definitive guide to help readers achieve for themselves what Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, Louis XIV and Machiavelli learnt the hard way. Law 1: Never outshine the master Law 2: Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies Law 3: Conceal your intentions Law 4: Always say less than necessary. The text is bold and elegant, laid out in black and red throughout and replete with fables and unique word sculptures. The 48 laws are illustrated through the tactics, triumphs and failures of great figures from the past who have wielded – or been victimised by – power.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials) by Robert B. Cialdini

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

If you know of another books that should be added to the Prepare Your Mind Reading List, please let us know in the comments.

Review: Zombie Granny (Android)

So, Zombie Granny is kind of like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds had a baby and it had a sick morbid sense of humor.

Zombie Granny is not a game to just download and play on a whim. Sure it’s readily available and free[1. Our favorite Price] but it’s also missing a shit ton of images that take like eight years to download. My actual grandma’s make shit happen faster and Ms. Pearl was legally blind and thought my computer was damn near magical.
I found if I don’t let the device snooze and keep touching the phone it update more quickly… good start.
Yay! It finally finished.
My first impression is that it’s kind of a lot like Cut The Rope, but instead of trying to feed the frog candy you’re trying to kill the Zombie Granny with a fireball. Then, a few levels in, I thought it’s kind of like Angry Birds.
So, Zombie Granny is kind of like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds had a baby and it had a sick morbid sense of humor.
The gameplay is fairly simple and easy to get accustomed to, especially since the first few levels are tutorial levels. There’s a fireball attached to a rope and you cut the rope and drop the fireball on the unsuspecting zombie granny below.
While the gameplay is straightforward the concept kind of bothers me. Where’s my motivation? This poor old lady is just standing about, not even trying to munch on my brains and I just murder her like it a terrorist.
Next weird conceptual thing? Why are there fireballs just suspended from here and there? This isn’t even like a Mario dungeon level where the fireball are swinging around like traps and trying to impede your progress. These are like decorations.
Morals and logic aside, this is after all just a mobile phone game, the graphics are great and it’s super cute and wonderfully simple. This is a fun little zombie game with just the right about of snark and morbid nonsense to keep you entertained on a long commute or wait in a lobby.
[rating:3.5/5]
I’d let Zombie Granny live– at least until the water got low or she started to stink up the place.
 

Review: The Walking Dead – Episode One: A New Day

Episode One: A New Day definitely has places to be and paths to take you there but to say it’s on rails would be doing it a huge disservice. Maybe a choose your own action adventure on rails would be most accurate as it is most accurately not of any specific genre.

Episode One: A New Day of The Walking Dead[1. A copy of this game was provided for review by Telltale games.] is finally out and it has all kind of expectations to live up to. The comics, the show, and what’s current in action adventure gaming today. Telltale Games set out to please everyone and no one. For the game to be successful it must stand on its own but still make sense within the The Walking Dead universe.
We’re introduced to The Walking Dead universe in Episode One: A New Day at the kickoff of the zombie apocalypse rather than weeks in as we are at the start of the TV series.
Immediately, we’re introduced to our main character, Lee Everett[2. A black man in the back of a police cruiser. Le Sigh.] and we get to decide what kind of person he’s going to be based on how he completes conversations–or doesn’t.  Not saying anything is an option, it’s also the default when you time out.
See, in the story summary video below there are choices being made that bring to along to those places and those conversations–those outbursts aren’t standard. Lee rarely says anything without your consent.

The game definitely has places to be and paths to take you there but to say it’s on rails would be doing it a huge disservice. Maybe a choose your own action adventure on rails would be most accurate as it is most accurately not of any specific genre.
However, to get a bit more specific, Episode One: A New Day offers some first level game things that should be noted.

The gameplay mechanics of Episode One: A New Day:


As is to be expected from a choose your own action adventure on rails, the game quickly introduces the method for choosing. The method is pushing the button that corresponds with your choice.
If you have the hints on, you might be notified after making a choice that you’re now seen as a nice guy, or an asshole, or a sketchball. It depends on what you decide to say.
Conversation choices need to be made quickly (sort of) or you’ll be stuck with the default or your choice will be “silence.” Saying nothing can sometimes say a lot about you.
Action choices, while they need to be made quickly can also be left to inaction like saving This Guy, That Guy, or neither. Though often in action choices you must choose.
Objects also must be found to complete a number or scenarios… So maybe this is a choose your own action adventure puzzler on rails. Anyway, a small number or items are kept in your inventory to be used either on people or thing to either solve them or win them over.

The story of Episode One: A New Day:[3. Of course, I get a little butthurt about the black man being carted off to jail for murder as an introduction, though it’s heavily tempered by my happiness that a mainstream game is actually staring a person of color as a regular person rather than a shaman or witch doctor or gang member or rapper.]

I was immediately engaged in the story presented in Episode One. The officer in the car is transporting Lee to jail but doesn’t believe he’s truly guilty. Out the window you–you’re allowed to look around as much as a real neck would allow– might see shambling people, and car accidents.
Eventually, you hit a person (zombie) and it knocks the police car into a ditch. Sorting yourself out at the bottom of this ditch is where you sort out how to control the character, interact with your environment, kill stuff and really do all the basic tutorial stuff. Lee comes to grips with the fact that something terrible happened and people are all fucked up.
Making your way through a neighborhood, Lee finds a house and is charged with making a friend or three to eventually get himself out of the suburbs.
Lee’s murdering past comes up often as a kind of haunting character motivation piece. Thankfully there aren’t any flashbacks.

Overall Episode One: A New Day:


1. The art style is great. It’s not intended to be Mass Effect-real or straight up cartooney. There’s a great mix of comic art and animated effects. To me, it felt new and worked well with the game.
2. Nobody is perfect. I hated something about every character, which to me is good because it means they’re not trying to make super familiar likable characters. Everyone, felt really regular and realistic. I think they did a better job of humanizing characters than the TV show did[4. Sorry, can’t help but compare.]
3. Maybe because I’m a nerd and I love graphs and stats, but I was geeked to see the comparison at the end of the level about who made the same choices you did. Were you among the majority? Did other people stay silent when they could have spoke up?
It’s a great feature that ads a bit of perspective and community to an otherwise solitary experience.
4. It’s not as heavy as the chow or the comics. People die and impactful decisions need to be made but they don’t unsettle me. I feel like playing through some of the decisions  in the show and the comics would have been really difficult.
5. There can be a lot of hurry up and wait. It’s urgent to get to X or to do Y but you can spend eight years searching a room for the A or you have to talk to every singly person before you can progress. I don’t care about some people and their motives
6. In order button mashing is how you fight. So, a zombie attacks and the screen flashes “x” and you tap it and then it flashes “b” and you tap that and you can win, lose or not die but not really win. Personally, I like being in full control of a hit stuff button.
I’m having fun playing and so excited to find out what happens next in Episode Two.
[Rating:4.5]

Remember, the full five episode season of The Walking Dead for PC and Mac is available for purchase via the Telltale Games Store (http://www.telltalegames.com/store/) and other digital distribution outlets as a season pass for $24.99.  Once launched on Xbox 360, each episode will cost just 400 MS Points, and on PlayStation 3, each episode will cost just $4.99, or $19.99 as a season pass.

Kill 'em With… Cards? | Zombie Jombie (iOS)

Zombie Jombie is a new iOS game launching today from GREE. The well designed (artistically speaking) game sounds like a unique and interesting butload of fun:

The ultimate weapons – ZOMBIES – are under your control! In this twist of events, the zombies are finally the good guys, and now they are yours to use in battle against the nastiest humans around! As a Jombie (one who can control zombies), the fate of the planet is in your hands as you defend city invasions by evil bosses who will stop at nothing to achieve total global domination.

That sounds awesome! And the zombies are cartooney but not lame. Then I read on:

This new iOS-exclusive title is a free-to-play card-based game that invites players to harness the power of the undead using a powerful deck of zombie cards while defending the earth from evil humans hell-bent on destruction. Offering a series of social features including the ability to trade cards and play with or against friends, Zombie Jombie takes an unconventional approach to the zombie genre and brings a new type of gameplay to mobile gaming.
In Zombie Jombie, players battle tough human bosses and complete quests in major U.S. cities as a “Jombie” – a powerful being with a unique ability to raise and control zombies. To accomplish these tasks, players build and customize their own distinctive deck of cards by trading with friends, fusing multiple cards together, and opening treasure chests that unlock special content. Because of the variety of ways players can upgrade and power-up their card decks, each Zombie Jombie player will have an exclusive experience. Zombie Jombie  will also have on-going content updates offering new game features and aiming to continuously enhance the player experience.

It sounds like the best idea for a game combined with the worst type of gameplay. People in asylums or old folks homes, or stranded without power, or using Windows 95 play card games by themselves. Sure, there’s Magic the Gathering and Munchkin ect. but you play those with people and for hours.

I’m going to have to check it out, because even though it sound a bit awful , it looks really fun and cute and silly and new and different… and it’s FREE!
Find out more on GREE’s website[1. Do you think GREE rhymes with free intentionally?].

Lollipop Chainsaw's Newest Villain is…

… I tell you who it is in a minute. You should know, before I update you on the villain, what Lollipop Chainsaw is. Right? Well, then skip down to that spoiler down below to hear the news. Otherwise, let me tell you about Lollipop Chainsaw a no-holds-barred Funpocalypse!
The game stars a high school cheerleader, Juliet, slashing her way through her classmates and faculty in a effort to get to answers about what on Earth is going on. Why are people always so dead set on finding answers in a zombie apocalypse? There are monsters trying to eat your face, focus on that and not starving in the process rather than who manufactured the T-virus. Unless, of course, you’re a scientist…
ANYWAY.
Juliet wields a chainsaw (impractical but so wonderful) and keeps her boyfriend’s talking head (don’t worry about how) strapped to her very, very small skirt. Continue reading “Lollipop Chainsaw's Newest Villain is…”

Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone

Poor Char. The apocalypse is always hitting Canada and Canadians the hardest. Even in this tongue-in-cheek video game about surviving the apocalypse on a island, Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone, Canada gets more than theirs.

PlayStation®Network, Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone, casts users as four unlikely heroes who are put to the test when the Zombie Apocalypse hits their small Canadian Island. Banding together for survival, and armed with weapons including guns, chainsaws, and C4-impregnated teddy bears, the heroes must work together to find a way to survive the zombie hordes and get off the island.”
SOURCE

The game basks in the more camp aspects of apocalyptic culture in the way that Army of Darkness or The Evil Dead do.

Zombie Apocalypse: Never Die Alone could be a fun, lighthearted survival romp worth trying for 800 Microsoft points or $9.99 on PlayStation Network. Both networks have demos available so you don’t regret your purchase.
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Is Lollipop Chainsaw the Utopia of Apocalypses?

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced their upcoming game Lollipop Chainsaw via a trailer featuring a blood-covered, chainsaw wielding, giggling cheerleader. She also has the talking head of her boyfriend clipped to her hip, because why not?

Lollipop Chainsaw is the ‘un-deadly’ story of sweet and killer zombie hunter Juliet Starling and her quest to uncover the root of a colossal zombie outbreak. With her wickedly awesome chainsaw in hand, Juliet slices, dices and splits her way through hordes of the undead, but soon realizes the horde is only the opening act to a festival of zombie rock lords determined to kill the chainsaw wielding cheerleader.

It’s kind of adorable in a hack and slash all your friends are dead, flesh-eating monster you get to glefully murder way… The game really reminds me of High School of the Dead in its big-breasted light-hearted approach to zombie slaying.
Check out the mature-rated trailer: