PERSPECTIVE — QuirkCon Gave Me Life At My First-Ever Gaming Convention

By Bianca “Anca” House | @ancaxec5:30 PM EST, Weds. Jun. 12, 2019

Greetings everyone! It’s your favorite Anca, huehuehue.
Anyway, I had a little something to say that I wanted to share with everyone. Well, I have between a little and a lot to say, and it’s about none other than…QuirkCon!

(Credit: www.QuirkCon.com)

Two weekends ago, I embarked on a trip to my first-ever convention (at least in the gaming world, that is). I had no idea what to expect, where I was actually going, who I was going to meet (except for fellow Cookout member Lila, in which, she’s the one who convinced me to go), so I was just out here living my best life and trying new things. So, I hopped in my car and drove from Greensboro, N.C. to Durham, N.C. ready to take on the weekend.
The con was three days long (which I’m assuming most cons are…?), and I have to say: I have never felt more comfortable around so many people. There were people like myself, people who share my culture, my hobbies and so much more! My favorite part, aside from hanging out with the illustrious #CookoutFam, was my stroll through the Vendor Hall. I know there are talented people out there, but I mean there’s some REALLY talented people out there in my own community that I had no idea existed! It was a paradise for People of Color content creators.
One thing that I really liked the most about QuirkCon was its intimacy. It wasn’t too small, and it wasn’t too big, and I didn’t feel overwhelmed at all. I enjoyed every minute while I was there so much so, that my sister (which I also convinced to go to the con, huehuehue) and I stayed out as long as we possibly could, just so we could experience it all.
I know I briefly mentioned hanging out with Cookout Fam, so I shall expound on it more now: I knew these people were dope, but I mean they are genuine and all around wonderful. I mentioned this in a post on Instagram, but I truly and honestly felt as if I’d known the ones that I met all my life. You know how sometimes you have that uncertainty when meeting people in person for the first time after only talking online? That uncertainty was nonexistent. Unfamiliarity, nonexistent. The Cookout is a family that I’m soooo grateful to have found in my search for a place of belonging.

There were some tears at the end, but they were happy tears because I definitely made some friendships that I needed in my life. I’m grateful to God that I was able to experience something like this.
Kudos to the team that made QuirkCon a realization and a dream come true!

_______
With a love for all things IT, Art and Adventure, Bianca “Anca” House is a harmlessly silly & eccentric creative/gaming streamer and the founder of AncaLogy, her graphic design business. Anca possesses a Ph.D in Laughology, earned from the University of Life in 1995. You can learn more about her at www.anca-logy.com, her site that contains links to all her creative & gaming activities. You can find her streaming at twitch.tv/anca_xec.
 

#TheCookoutTurns2: Reflections From The Cookout Community

By Editorial Staff | 6:20 PM EST, Mon. May 13, 2019

On May 13, 2017, The Cookout was created on the foundation as a Black centered space that has evolved to being open to all People of Color as a safe space to connect, discuss various topics and to create [ABOUT US/HISTORY OF THE COOKOUT]. Two years later, we have evolved into a community of over 600 members and have continued to grow as both a community and organization. We realized that a group such of ourselves was needed in both the gaming and content creating industry and we look forward to continue to grow! On our second year anniversary, The Cookout collected reflections from respective members of The Cookout Fam answering the question: “What does The Cookout mean to you?”
Continue reading “#TheCookoutTurns2: Reflections From The Cookout Community”

Short, But Sweet: PlayStation’s Second #StateOfPlay Gives Final Fantasy Fanatics Hope In FF7 Remake

By Paul “Tru1P” Holston | @Tru1P |11:35 AM EST, Fri. May 10, 2019

Forty-five days after the debut of PlayStation’s #StateOfPlay live-streamed broadcast, the company showcased its second episode on Thursday, May 9, with an approximate 12-minute press conference that appeared more enlightening for viewers than its first episode.
The episode’s broadcast ranged from a new game expansion, a new version of the PlayStation 4, exclusive console titles and a new trailer of the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake. Talks about the remake of the legendary role-playing game have been a mystery to many since its initial announcement at the 2015 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the world’s premier event for computer and video games that is also known as E3.
Continue reading “Short, But Sweet: PlayStation’s Second #StateOfPlay Gives Final Fantasy Fanatics Hope In FF7 Remake”

RECIPES — Meal Prepping: White Chicken Chili, Chicken Fried Rice, Sweet Chili Glazed Turkey Meatballs, and Salmon and Veggies

By NikkiGames11 | @NikkiGames11 | 5:15 PM EST, Mon., April 22, 2019

Cooking: Some love it, some hate it.
Personally, I adore being in the kitchen and creating new meals to enjoy. I’ve been on a health kick lately and have taken up meal prepping as well.
Continue reading “RECIPES — Meal Prepping: White Chicken Chili, Chicken Fried Rice, Sweet Chili Glazed Turkey Meatballs, and Salmon and Veggies”

REVIEW — "The Promised Neverland" Gives Perfect Anime Experience

By King Ether | @_kingether | 5:30 PM EST, Tues., April 9, 2019

“Surrounded by a forest and a gated entrance, the Grace Field House is inhabited by orphans happily living together as one big family, looked after by their “Mama,” Isabella. Although they are required to take tests daily, the children are free to spend their time as they see fit, usually playing outside, as long as they do not venture too far from the orphanage—a rule they are expected to follow no matter what. However, all good times must come to an end, as every few months, a child is adopted and sent to live with their new family… never to be heard from again. However, the three oldest siblings have their suspicions about what is actually happening at the orphanage, and they are about to discover the cruel fate that awaits the children living at Grace Field, including the twisted nature of their beloved Mama.” –Yakusoku no Neverland (The Promised Neverland) Synopsis (Written by My Anime List)

The idea of a place where you don’t grow up into an adult world sounds like heaven to most children. That’s why Disney’s Peter Pan and his adventures in Neverland became so popular to both kids and adults who enjoyed the fictional story of the hero Peter Pan, as well as the other protagonist, Wendy Darling, and her brothers. CloverWorks’ Japanese manga turned anime series “The Promised Neverland” took this concept and put their own dark twist on it. The Promised Land television series adaptation premiered this past January to March of 2019.

STORY: 10/10

The Promised Neverland started great and got better as the debut season premiered. While not going into too much detail, every piece of the show from the visual artistry to the audio production did a good job working together to add more weight in each second of run time.  The show opens with what you would expect in a show that has “Neverland” in the title: Happiness. There seems to be nothing, but good times in this orphanage house with a surprising amount of land. That illusion is quickly short-lived as the main characters Emma, the typical happy shonen protagonist, and Norman, an intelligent and caring child, find out that all is not what it seems. The show does a fantastic job of giving just enough information to keep you interested while still remaining a total mystery. It’s very parallel to show gruesome violence.  The fact that you only see what the kids see and it doesn’t build much on the world around them gives you enough clues that make you want to learn more. By the end, the show didn’t bother to give viewers answers to many of the questions one might have had asked. The show’s intentions I believe wasn’t to answer lingering questions, but in turn, was something I didn’t find myself bothered by. With it all said and done, I felt satisfied with how the season ended.

ART: 10/10

The art in the series is very unique. With it being different, not everyone will have the same opinion on this I’m sure. For me, the slightly, deformed look of the characters threw me off at first, but after a while, I found myself enjoying the art style of the original character designer, Posuka Demizu. Her art really helped emphasize the moods of the characters…whether that be from happiness to pure terror. The visuals also really helped immerse me into their world. I was on the edge of my seat when the characters themselves were figuratively on the edge of their seat.
Since the animation was unique to the series, it made scenes with a lot of fast moment, such as running through the forest, look really good.  Another observation was that every character all looked very different from one another. The main characters look really fit them all in terms of presentation. From Emma’s bright, orange hair, which fit her happy personality, to Ray’s Black hair matching his Sasuke-like demeanor. While the computer-generated imagery (CGI) looked good, it showed up in the last seconds of the show. This didn’t make much sense to me since that was the scene that would take the least amount of effort to draw out animation-wise.

(Source: YouTube)

SOUND: 10/10

CloverWorks studio hit it out of the park with their voice acting selections. I didn’t feel myself being taken out of the immersion of the story by bad voice acting. Mariya Ise, who has worked in shows such as Fairy Tail and Code Geass, was slightly better than her peers for her portrayal of Ray, as I felt that it was a match made in heaven. I enjoyed the selection of “Touch Off” by UVERworld, as it helped set the mood for the show and was overall a good song in general. Especially in the tense moments, the background songs helped enrich the mood of the scenes. In particular, I found myself sweating with my heart beating fast along with the characters in those tight situations.

CHARACTER: 10/10

Every character that had a decent amount of screen time felt alive. The three main characters, Ray, Norman and, Emma, besides being drastically different in terms of looks, all were different in personality. Norman stands out as the character I enjoyed the most because of the way he logically thought and definitely cemented himself as a character that I won’t easily forget. While the main characters had their personal strengths and weakness, the character that shined the brightest was the caretaker of the kids: The Mom. Their humanization was something that by the end of the 12th episode, I found myself empathizing with them.

ENJOYMENT: 10/10

The Promised Neverland is a show I think everyone can enjoy. This show has replay-ability based on the characters alone and being able to see their growth was fantastic. The show could be easily compared to the abstract strategy game of “Go” with both sides attacking and counter-attacking. I think this show might even make into other peoples’ top 10 animes of all-time. As of right now, it is one of the top shows from this past winter season.

OVERALL: 10/10

The Promised Neverland hits every point just right. I felt fully immersed in the story. I was in that house with the kids trying to make sure we worked towards solving the problem. This show told its story very well and made it enjoyable to watch. Every single episode was fantastic and got better as time went on.
_______
King Ether is your everyday nerd just trying to write about the things he loves in life. You can find him streaming on Twitch at www.twitch.tv/king_ether.

PERSPECTIVE — It’s More Than Just Gaming: My Time at Children’s Hospital Week

By Syphorce | @Syphorce | 1:00 PM EST, Tues., April 9, 2019

From Tuesday, March 23rd to Friday, March 26th, I had the pleasure of representing the Orlando chapter for the 5th Annual Extra Life United event during the Children’s Hospitals Week at Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World Resort (that was a mouthful). Short version: I got a chance to represent my city/hospital at a gaming tournament in the middle of Disney. It was dope…and here’s how it happened.
Continue reading “PERSPECTIVE — It’s More Than Just Gaming: My Time at Children’s Hospital Week”

COLUMN — “Blacks At Xbox:” Great Community. Not-So-Great Marketing.

"Black At Xbox" Logo

By Paul “Tru1P” Holston | @Tru1P | 5:30 PM EST, Thurs. March 28, 2019

This is a friendly reminder to both you as a reader and to all gaming companies across the world: Black people should not be your go-to diversity-marketing ploy. Please include diversity and inclusion in your original branding, objectives and mission values.
“Tokenism,” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary, is defined as: “The practice of doing something (such as hiring a person who belongs to a minority group) only to prevent criticism and give the appearance that people are being treated fairly.” I’m bringing this word to you for a reason.
Continue reading “COLUMN — “Blacks At Xbox:” Great Community. Not-So-Great Marketing.”

PlayStation’s #StateOfPlay Debut Focuses On VR, Leaves Questions On Future Episodes

By Paul “Tru1P” Holston | @Tru1P | 11:15 PM EST, Weds. March 27, 2019

The inaugural episode of PlayStation’s State of Play live stream only lasted close to 20 minutes total.
That was enough for viewers and avid PlayStation fans to determine whether or not they would tune in to future episodes on the newly streaming presentation that PlayStation began rolling out on Monday, March 25.
Continue reading “PlayStation’s #StateOfPlay Debut Focuses On VR, Leaves Questions On Future Episodes”

Garlic Buffalo Chicken Sliders

– Blax Edition –

Most of this shit you can find in your crib. Let’s start with the Seasonings and work our way down.
~ For these fire Buffalo Sliders you will need the following ~

  • Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, Garlic Salt, Lawry’s  Season Salt, Fresh Parsley
  • Ingredients: Butter, Eggs, Milk, Flour, Chicken Breast, King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, Parmesan Cheese, Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Sauce
  1.  Thaw and unpack your Chicken Breast, usually 2 Breast per Sweet Roll Pack.
  2. Clean and Season your Chicken with Salt and Pepper then set aside.
  3.  Get 3 Eggs Crack and set into a bowl. Add Milk, Salt, and Pepper. Whisk till that shits smoother than MJ’s moonwalk. This will be your Egg Wash.
  4. 2 Big Spoons (Those Spoons Bigger than the regular ones) of Flour onto a Plate.
  5. Thoroughly soak your Chicken in the Egg Wash.
  6. Then Batter by slappin’ them thangs on the plate of Flour. FLOUR BOTH SIDES.

Now it’s time to get down and dirty.
Let’s start with cooking the chicken then work our way to the finished Product.
We’ll be using a Skillet and the Oven for these parts.
Step 1: Set fire to mid heat and lather the Skillet with a Regular spoon of Butter.
Step 2: Slap Chicken onto the Skillet and season both sides with Salt, Pepper, Season Salt, and Garlic Salt. Season till you feel it in your soul. Cook chicken thoroughly.
Step 3: Place freshly cooked and seasoned chicken in a bowl and shred with 2 forks till done.
Step 4: Set fire to mid to low heat, pour half the bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Sauce into the skillet and mix with a regular spoon full of Butter. Add in Garlic salt and Pepper. Mix till smooth. Add shredded chicken into skillet and Mix thoroughly.
Step 5: Pull out a Pack of King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls and cut from end to end. You will have the top half and bottom half of the Rolls separated.
Step 6: Put fresh Garlic Buffalo Shredded Chicken over bottom half of the Sweet Rolls then layer with Parmesan Cheese.
Step 7: Put top half of Sweet Rolls on top and lather the top with the remaining Egg Wash and butter. Sprinkle Parmesan over the top with some Fresh Parsley and its ready to bake.
Step 8: Set oven to 400 degrees and wait for preheat. Put Sliders into oven for 10 minutes. THEN BOOM YOU GOT MUHFUCKIN FIRE OP BOMB ASS BLAXBOYARDEEEEEEE SLIDERS FAM. I MEAN JUST LOOK  AT THIS SHIT MAN!!!!
If they dont look like this you must’ve fucked up somewhere idk.
Serve with a dipping sauce of your Choice and enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!