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Contest: Win a trip to New York, $1,500 shopping spree, more!

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Announcements, Features

MAGnificent makeover

Yes, we realize we are in the midst of our awesome Modern Warfare 2 Xbox 360 limited edition console giveaway, but hey, it’s the season for giving and we are taking part in yet another fantastic contest that we need to tell you about. Here’s the deal:

We, along with 24 other sites, have partnered with MAGHOUND and People StyleWatch to bring you the MAGnificent Makeover sweepstakes. Up for grabs is a grand prize that includes:

  • Roundtrip Airfare for two (that would be you and a guest!) to New York City, NY on a Thursday through Saturday
  • Airport Transportation to and from the NYC airport to the hotel
  • Hotel Accommodations for a Three-Day/Two-Night stay at a NYC hotel of the Sponsor’s choice
  • An afternoon of pampering at a People StyleWatch Recommended Salon, which will take place on the Friday of the trip. Guy or girl, be ready for a salon consultation and treatment that’ll have you walking out feeling like a new person.
  • A $1,500 Shopping Spree with a People StyleWatch Editor (on that Friday) who will advise on trendy outfits and wardrobe suggestions at a retail store of the Editor’s choice

Oh, did you think that was all? We’ve also got three first prizes as well. That’s right, three people will be chosen to receive a $100 gift card to either Macy’s or Sephora, your choice.

Here’s the kicker - the contest ends on December 15th, and you can enter once per day! Seriously, go back daily and you increase your odds of walking away with this amazing prize package. Head on over to the entry page to enter and get full details, and be sure to select “Gear Live” in the “How did you hear about this?” pulldown menu.

Read More | MAGnificent Makeover Entry

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California Extreme Channels a Simpler Time

Posted by Paul Hamilton Categories: Culture, Editorial, Retro

Pinball Players at California Extreme 2007

Gamers of a certain age, if given half a chance, will gladly recount grand tales of smoky rooms, dimly lit by a few dozen cathode rays where the only sounds are the white noise of competing digitized soundtracks, crude speech sythesizers, blips and bells, pings and whistles and artificial arpeggios rolling down an electronic scale.

The misty sincerity of those gamers who cut their teeth on the quarter-munching cabinets of Space Invaders, Asteroids, Missile Command and Sinistar is almost enough to make one forget what a mess the modern arcade equivalent has become. The gargantuan interface machines with their elaborate weapon approximations and physical demands juxtapose over a likewise spectacular price per play resulting in a hollow shell of what the old guard knew so well. These are not arcades as exist in those guarded memories, they are interactive entertainment experiences: The kind of branded, marginalized speciality device that has been focus tested and trade-show marketed to get the premium floor space right out front in view of the mall concourse is showpiece here.

Even those arcade machines which can still accurately be described as video games compete for the higher-yield ticket-generating skill games (which ironically involve very little skill). Most of those who recall the days when 3D graphics referred to the vector lines of Tempest pass by these modern emporiums. Perhaps they shake their heads a little or make a disparaging comment. Kids these days. Get off my lawn. They don’t enter; inside is only heartbreak.

Perhaps what hurts the most is that it is a heartbreak we chose. We have no one to blame but ourselves, for while the arcade as it was may be dead, ultimately it is us who killed it.

We wanted the more valuable entertainment experience. We asked for and then demanded a perfect replica of our arcade favorites that we could play at home from the comfort of our couches. We pressed for more arcade-quality graphics on our home consoles until our set top boxes had visuals that outpaced anything showcased on a standalone machine. We asked for, and received, greater narrative depth in our games and as a casualty for our insistence we killed the arcade—the very entity we now mourn.


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