The Professional Gamer - August 22, 2016

Back to a relatively normal week at work, and I've had a bit more time to have fun again this week. Even with biking to work, which takes about twice as long as driving, I was able to make some substantial progress in video games. And I'm looking forward to some fun convention time in the next few weeks. Ready? Let's go!

In the world of Elite: Dangerous, I've finally saved enough money for my next ship. I'm at the point of spending the next hours or so cruising around the universe to find my new ship and all the equipment that I need to outfit it to my needs. I'm excited that I'll be increasing my earning potential, and spending some time in a slightly more manuverable and fun ship again.

Next week, I'll be heading up to the Fort Collins Comic Con with Crystal, where she'll be selling some of her art and comics and I'll be helping her out.  I'm also hoping to spend a little bit of time looking around the convention, meeting some artists, and talking about comics with other fans.  This is only the conventions second year, but hopefully everything goes fairly well.

With that in mind, I hope to see you all again next week.  Have a great time, and game on!

The Professional Gamer - August 15, 2016

Hello readers! This has been the week were I spent most of my time away from home.  In fact, I was in Hawaii to visit a project site.  But, I was away from most of games and media for the week.  But let's talk a little bit about what I did do.

Hilo reminded me a lot of my time in the smaller towns of New Zealand, just a little more tropical and with more palm trees.  But there are lots of tiny roads, including one lane bridges, and the underlying current of a Polynesian culture.  I was able to spend some time hunting for Pokemon while I was there.  And due to the different real world environment, I was able to catch a lot of pokemon that I haven't seen near my home.

That's all I've really had time for this week.  Have a great week, and game on!

The Professional Gamer - August 8, 2016

Hello readers!  I've had another good week at my new job (including having an extra day off today, yay! for compressed schedule!).  And, I found out on Monday that I'll be doing some travel much sooner than I originally expected.  That is to say, I'm travelling to Hawaii this week to do some field work and help guide some construction activity.  It's going to be a super fast turn around and probably leave me exhausted from jet lag, but I think the whole thing is going to be a lot of fun.  Anyways, let's talk about the fun that I've had this week.

Another week means more episodes of Steven Universe, and they continue the pattern of being both fun and emotionally difficult.  I've yet to watch the latest episode, but it sounds like it will continue along the problem of emotionally difficult themes.  Avoiding spoilers has been rather difficult today.

With my day off today, I had some time to play Elite: Dangerous again, and I'm only about 10 million credits away from upgrading my ship.  My previous estimates were based on faulty data, which is unfortunate.  At least I'll only have to do a few more hours of trade loops to get everything together.  If it weren't for the travel this week, I'd be able to get it finished this week.  But, I'm really not that far from finishing it, and looking forward to getting in the next level of ship.

I've not had nearly as much time for Pokemon Go since I've been in an office most of the day, compared to that week that I had off.  But, I've still made a little progress and am now only a little way away from level 20.

That's all I have for this week.  I should be back by next weekend and able to put together another article then.  So look forward to that.  Have a great week, and game on!

The Professional Gamer - August 1, 2016

Hello readers! As I mentioned last week, I've started a new job this week.  So far, I'm enjoying it a lot, though the contrast of working with a small company versus the public sector is pretty stark.  Getting used to working within an environment that includes various types of support staff is a little weird.  At my old company, we had to take care of so many things on our own that having people to help feels strange to me.  On the other hand, I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with the technical work that I'll be doing.  I am especially going to enjoy the opportunities that I will have to travel.

I haven't had a lot of time for playing games this week, but I decided to spend it playing Pokemon Go so that I could combine my video game time with some out-of-doors walking time.  I've nearly hit level 19, which makes me think I'm doing fairly well.  And, I've got pokemon of high enough level to has some ability to perform at gyms.  I'm looking forward to continuing my journey in the upcoming weeks.

I've also watched a few more episodes of Gravity Falls, and am getting near the end.  I am still carefully rationing the episodes so that I can prolong the experience as much as possible.  Also, I have been watching the latest episodes of Steven Universe.  The latest episodes have been tackled some really tough material and been full of emotional and character payoffs.  Even though the viewing has been difficult, it has also been rewarding.

That's all that I have for now, have a great week, and game on!


The Professional Gamer - July 25, 2016

Hello readers, I've had a great week off from work and spent a lot of my time in video games, various cartoon series, and some reading.  It kinda makes me wish that I could have more weeks off with the time to do whatever I want.  But, I've gotta pay the bills.  Let's talk about what I've been doing.

In terms of video games, I've split my time between the relatively active Pokemon Go!, and the less active Elite: Dangerous.  In spite of the server troubles and some problematic bugs, Pokemon Go! has been a lot of fun.  I have found a few routes that take me around several spawn points and PokeStops, so that I have a good mix of catching Pokemon and replenishing my supplies.  Meanwhile, having larger blocks of time to dedicate to Elite: Dangerous makes it a lot easier to find a good loop route in order to make lots of cash.  I'm still about 20 million away from upgrading my ship again, but at this point that is only about 40 more loops away, which should only take me something like 3 or 4 more hours, as long as I can continue to find profitable loops.

In the world of television, I've got three shows that I'm focusing on currently: Gravity FallsSteven Universe, and Voltron.  I'm only a few episodes away from finishing Gravity Falls, but having a hard time convincing myself to do it.  I'm worried that I will run out of a something really great to watch.  With Steven Universe, I have a finite number of episodes to watch currently, but know that I'll have plenty to come back to in the future.  Last, Voltron is a lot of fun, and a great reboot to a series that I originally watched as a young kid.  I feel that a lot of the weak points of the original series (a lack of strong characterization in the main cast, a predictable monster-of-the-week formula, and cheap animation) have been largely fixed in the new series.  I only have a couple more episodes to watch, but I've heard that the finale is a hell of a cliffhanger.  I'm excited to watch it and for season two to come out.

Finally, I've done a little bit of reading on break: mostly Robert's Rules.

That's all I have for this week.  Happy pokemon hunting, and game on!


Jim Arthurs

B.Sc. - Geological Engineering, Ph.D. - Geology, P.E. - Civil Engineering. Retaining Wall Designer. Lover of Nintendo, Graphic Novels, and RPGs. Gardener, Homebrewer, and television viewer.

Denver Zoo Embraces Pokémon Go!

Denver Zoo Map (I think)

Attention all Pokémon Trainers. This weekend the Denver Zoo is providing a $5.00 discount to all that are playing the popular mobile game. In addition to the discount, between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM the zoo will be dropping lures at it many pokestops. So come on down and see animals both real and virtual! Just please remember to stay out of the cages. 

And just in case you want it, here is the Facebook page detailing the event.

Overwatch - New Hero

Overwatch - New Hero

Overwatch came out just under 2 months ago, and it has admittedly been the game I have spent the most time on this summer. As such you can imagine how excited I am to see the newest hero get announced. Coming soon to Overwatch, Ana! Ana is a sniper that can both head shot the red team and heal their team mates from their sniper nest. 

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Pokémon GO - One Week Later

Pokémon GO - One Week Later

I think it is safe to say Nintendo's first foray into the augmented reality scene is a success. Pokémon GO game out one week ago in the United States and it has been an instant hit flooding all social media with what has been caught, where what has been found, and more. So why is this game so addicting? The answer is the same it has always been, Gotta Catch Them All!

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The Professional Gamer - July 12, 2016

Hi readers!  I hope all of our American followers had a great Independence Day!  I sure did, even got a personal record for the 4 km race that I've been doing for several years.

Later in the week, I finished watching the first season of Gravity Falls.  I won't really post any spoilers, since I'm sure there are lots of people watching for the first time.  If you are watching for the first time, remember: trust no one!  The first season has been so much fun, and I've already started into the second season.  I've got a feeling I'll be finishing the series really soon.

I've made a lot of progress through The Lord of the Rings this week as well.  Gandalf has fallen in Khazad-dum and the Fellowship has journeyed into Lothlorien.  I think I've got less than a week to move on to the next volume.

In other news, I am a bike owner again.  Its been a long time since I had a bicycle and I'm excited to start using it for transport on the weekends.  Now, I need to get some accessories so that I can be safe and carry groceries and such as well.

Lastly, Pokemon Go has been released in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. so far.  I feel like I've had not a lot of time to play, but have still managed to rack up 6 km of walking and have reached level 6.  It's been fun to explore the real world, sometimes with friends, in search of magical creatures.  The server issues have been frustrating, but I'm sure that will all get solved soon.  In summary, its a lot more fun than Ingress, the previous game released by Niantec; and I recommend that you try it out if you think you would like an excuse to explore your neighborhood on foot and get to know some of the people who live near you.

That's all I have for this week.  I'll update you all later on how the Pokemon hunting goes.  Have a great week, and game on!

The Professional Gamer - July 4, 2016

Hello readers!  I hope you have all had another good week.  I've continued reading Lord of the Rings, but have also discovered that a great show that I've been hoping to watch is finally available on Hulu,  Therefore, I spent most of my evenings watching Gravity Falls.  

For those not familiar with the show, Gravity Falls tells the story of twins Mable and Dipper spending a summer with their Great Uncle Stan in a small town in the deep woods of Oregon.  Dipper finds a large book with a number "3" on the cover, and then begins to have encounters with all sorts of strange creatures and other phenomena.  The show manages a great blend of Americana and spooky campfire stories.  The animation is fluid and the characters are fun to watch in motion.  Not to mention the jokes are really funny.  I've watched a bit more than half of the first season so far.  Somehow, I managed to avoid most of the spoilers that were roaming wild on the internet; quite a feat considering that a large portion of my online friends were regularly watching Gravity Falls.  In summary, if you have Hulu, you should give Gravity Falls a shot.  

That's all I've got for this week.  Happy Independence Day to all of our American readers!  Have a great week and game on!