Behind the Blog: February 1, 2012

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Still kicking! The first month of a new year brought a whole new world of adventure to GUO: GUO’s GoTY award, new gadgets from CES, predictions for the future, the SOPA thing, and our weekly look at high flying technology finally got a well deserved name. Oh, and we might have rebuilt the feature formerly known as GUO Digest as well. Click on through for a fireside chat about everything that went in to, and came out of, our content from January.

Since October I’ve been kicking myself about not posting a State of the Blog Address like I used to. Call me dim, but it never occurred to me that I already do the same thing every month here in the Digest. I should probably rename this feature (ed: Done! GUO Digest is now Behind the Blog). Hmm, maybe I’ll start by re-jiggering the format here a bit…

Perhaps one of the most interesting things to happen here at GUO didn’t actually occur on the site. The Skyrim: Operation Have a Heart video posted back in December has caught fire on YouTube. In a world where I excitedly watched our previous OnLive vids creep up towards 10,000 views over six months, it was a shock (and a delight) to see this gag filled pet project rocket up to 250,000 views in 30 days. The YouTube community gets a bit of a bad rep in terms of commenters, but my experience has found it mostly unjustified. It’s been cool to find my inbox packed with a dozen bits of feedback every time I turned around this month. Not all of it flattering or coherent, but It was nice to finally generate some of that community interaction I’ve failed to produce on this site.

Speaking of the site, let’s take a quick peek at the:

Most Popular Posts for January 2012

Review: Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim (iPhone/iPad/Android) Slaying Dragons With Better Bookkeeping – I was thinking of disqualifying this one because the traffic mostly comes from StumbleUpon. I figured it might be a glitch or strange keyword. However, in analyzing the visitor patterns, almost 70% of readers stay on the site and read more! So, yeah, looks legit.

Tips, Cheats, and Strategies for Wasteland Empires on Facebook

Unreview: The Sims FreePlay (iPhone/iPad) These Are Not The Sims You’re Looking For

Review: Hidden Chronicles (Facebook) Seek and Find Objects from the Makers of FarmVille

MuchDifferent Smashes Gaming World Record with 1000 Player Man vs. Machine FPS – Big deal considering this article was posted January 29th! It knocked our Sims Social strategy guide out of the Top 5 at the last second (The first time that guide hasn’t made the Top 5 since it was published in August).


Unreview: The Sims FreePlay (iPhone/iPad) These Are Not The Sims You’re Looking For – The Unreview returns for this disappointing edition of The Sims. I tried a new list style review. It felt like lazy writing, but I still sunk the same hours into it as I do with a normal, written review. Go figure. Bonus points to those who got both the Skyrim and Evangellion gags!

Review: Hidden Chronicles (Facebook) Seek and Find Objects from the Makers of FarmVille – Hidden object and Facebook games: Two genres with huge followings that never get the thoughtful coverage they should. The modern gaming media is just so… bah! That’s a topic for a whole other rant.

GOTY trophyGrowing Up Otaku Game of the Year 2011: Xenoblade Chronicles – Yup, we gave our GoTY to a Wii title that isn’t available in America. Last year, we awarded it to Minecraft, a game that hadn’t officially come out. Geez, you’d think we were trying to be avant-garde or something. We’re not trying. Maybe we just are… I’m also proud of that trophy! That was a good bit o’ Photoshopping! I hated writing this article. Something about just gushing and justifying the GoTY decision flies in the face of my much more critical review style.

Review: OnLive Desktop Puts Windows Surface and Microsoft Office on Your iPad. But Why? – I’ve always been a HUGE supporter of OnLive since the tech was first demoed. One glance at our previous coverage shows that. But, man, this new OnLive Desktop is pointless and annoying to use.

Review: Risk Factions (Facebook) The War On Peace – You know the best review? The one I didn’t slave away on for 6 or 8 hours ;) I need to go try this one.

Out of This World Weekly

Our “Space Sunday” feature gets a new name! The Great One takes over the show every Sunday to lay down the low down on the highest tech of all. Now I can even turn over a chunk of the Digest to him as well Smile

Permanent Moon Base Being Planned - Finally an article about colonizing something other than a world around another star.  Moon colonization has been not much more than a dream for decades. Can the world finally get together and make it work?

160 Billion Planets In The Milky Way - That's 1,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in the universe.  Now we can now get into arguments over who owns what.

Beware Space Spying Aliens Hawking Crashing Satellites - My editor (ed: That’s a me, Edit-io!) made this title up out of an even less coherent title I came up with.  When there's no one space article that stands out for the week, sometimes you have to mix some together.

Kepler Mission Finds 2 Earth Sized Planets - So now we are finding planets that are the size of Earth around other stars.   The search for other Earth like (or better) planets is really heating up and the Kepler telescope is finding more every month.

Will NASA’s Future Look Bright? - Most of my articles are bright and cheery with new space discoveries and possibilities.  This is a different view of what is keeping NASA from making more of these discoveries and their plans for the future


Growing Up Otaku Predicts 2012 – This was a nice, fluffy, fun project. I also liked the idea of getting us all to weigh in on some topics.

How to Protect Kids Online by Blocking Web Sites for Free – Bombed! Kinda shocked. This was going to be a big piece, but I aborted half-way through when I saw the amazing job OpenDNS did on their instructions.

Did Humble Indie Bundle Shank Principals for Profit? – A much more professional rewrite of my earlier rant on this topic. Even blundered into some new facts for the end when I double-checked my sources.

Comic: SOPA Does What Now? – Still thinking about doing another. Different type of writing. I also used my review time one week to make this. How were the hits? Pretty good, but it might be because SOPA was in the title.

The Secret Lives of Online Game Cheaters – Very surprised this flopped too. I had a much better title for the first version, but I forgot it.


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Radio Show – Live! to Tour U.K. Don’t Panic!

Most Major News Networks Neglecting SOPA Coverage. And You Should Too! – Hmm. Maybe I need an editorial section.

MakerBot Unveils Next Generation 3D Printer: The MakerBot Replicator

Video: Intel Fakes Ivy Bridge Demo at CES – Yeah, tech reporters at CES aren’t going to notice the media player control panel…

Asus Announces Eee Pad Memo: A 7" Quad-Core Tegra 3 Android 4.0 Tablet for $249 – There are a lot of tablet coming out under $250 to compete with the Kindle Fire, but nothing anywhere near as powerful as this thing. Waiting with baited breath to pre-order!

Cube 3D Printer: Download and Print Your Own Plastic Stuff for $1299 – They also have a cloud service where they can print stuff for you!

CEO to Run Paris Marathon Cosplaying Naruto

Popular Internet Forum Reddit Plans Blackout to Protest SOPA January 18; Others to Follow-Including Us

Anime Streaming Service Crunchyroll Upgrades to 1080p

League of Legends Congressman Stands with Game Developers Against SOPA – It’s always brave for someone with a real, respected job to admit to being a gamer. Usually the closest you see is “I’ve always been a fan of that game where you eat the dots”. This guy throws down in LoL! And talks about it on their forum!

Civil War Era Submarine H.L. Hunley Resurfaces After Nearly 150 Years – I’ve loved submarines for a while now. I named my first Star Trek Online ship after the Hunley: The first sub to sink an enemy warship. She also has a bad habit of sinking every time she went out, killing the entire crew.

MPAA Asks White House to Stop SOPA Blackout – Somehow more tasteful than the RIAA’s snotty little Tweets that day.

Xbox and iPhone Manufacturer Foxconn Likens Employees to Animals in a Zoo – Oh, Foxconn. You so crazy. And evil.

South Korea Building Robot Prison Guards

Marvel: Avengers Alliance Assembles to Assault Your Facebook Friends – Still not out.

Code Geass Getting Wonderland Parody OVA, 2 Broadway-Style Productions, and More – This hurt my brain…

EMI Music VP Attains Enlightenment; States Piracy Can Be Solved by Better Service, Not SOPA – I think this turned out as a very nice article.

Dragon Ball Z Blu-Ray Production “Suspended” – Not to worry, DBZ fans. You know by now that there is ALWAYS another version right around the corner.

MuchDifferent Smashes Gaming World Record with 1000 Player Man vs. Machine FPS – I could not have been more disappointed about botching the video for this. I’m still upset.

Cool Stuff

Video: This Fruit Ninja is a Really Pussycat – You should’ve seen the original, much dirtier version of this title!

Blizzard Celebrates Diablo’s 15th Anniversary with Video Retrospective and Timeline

Star Trek Online Goes Free-to-Play; Is Awesome – Wholly carp, am I in love with this one! Forget blog updates for February. You want content next month? You’re gonna need to hit me up @ryte2byte in STO. I’ll tell ya about the time I dusted a Borg command ship.GameClient 2012-01-28 03-48-22-56

Play a New Version of Half Life for Free: The Canceled Dreamcast Port

Skyrim Ported to… the TI-84 Calculator? – Oddly enough, there is another TI graphing calculator article on my to-do pile.

Run for Your Lives–A 5K Marathon with Zombies Chasing You – Looks like a great event. Strangely little traffic on this one. Usually anything with zombies in the title is big.

Cloud Connected Garage Door Opener Let You Open Your Garage Door ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD?! – REALLY?! Inspired the, now canceled, 5 Dumbest Gadgets from CES.

Video: Fans Remake Star Wars 15 Seconds at a Time – If you watch anything on this list, it should be this. No parody, Star Wars Uncut is a gushing love letter to the original film. And there’s a lot of babies. And Legos. Everyone loves babies and Legos.

Download Your Next Dollhouse with MakerBot Playsets


Wow, January was a long month!  We broke almost every bloody record on our books last month. We created 54 posts last month and even had our first day off in a very long time. We also managed to keep alive our perfect record of never making money. While we very nearly scored a big, fat, juicy, ten dollar bill from the affiliate programs,  the holiday shopping season put us just shy of a payout. And here I was worried I’d have to start adding some type of sauce to the writers’ rice bowls. Ha-HA! The people have spoken and you shall continue to eat plain rice!*

*The legal department of Growing Up Otaku would like to remind writers that they have never been promised any form of compensation, including life sustaining food of any kind including, but not limited to, rice. Any mention of possible writer compensation, editable or otherwise, on is purely for the purposes of satire and is protected under DMCA Safe Harbor provisions. Furthermore, the legal department of Growing Up Otaku would like to remind writers that all your base are belong to us.

Speaking of writers, if you found your way down here you must be familiar with what we do. Or you’re my mom (Hi, Mom!). Ever wanted to try doing our ‘job’? Do you have a burning passion for games, gadgets, geekery, and the Weird World of Web? Fancy slaving away over a word processor, video editing suite, or Photoshop as an unpaid, seldom appreciated blogger? Growing Up Otaku is looking for a couple of new voices to add to our choir with a couple of articles or news posts each week. Send an email to me (Michael Krutzler/ryte2byte depending on where you found us) via with a example or a link to a sample of your work and, provided the spam filter doesn’t eat it, I’ll get in touch. No attachments, please.

Love is cheap and easily mass produced so we give it away free! On behalf of the cast and crew over here at GUO, we love you guys and look forward to sharing our mainstream-skirting finds from Globe of Geek again with you again next month.

Thanks for reading!

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