Wings of Liberty: Jim Raynor
Have you ever played StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty? It's a complex RTS (real-time strategy) game that allows players to connect online in simulated battles. You must gather resources known as minerals and vespene gas in order to mass an army and attack your opponents. You can choose to play in a team or alone, against other players or A.I.s. The game not only offers competitive laddering but there is a campaign and infinite arcade games. (You can find it on my Top 10 list for Co-op Video Games.)
Battlenet Championship 2012
Due to its brilliant gameplay and ever changing nature it has exponentially increased popularity for e-sports. There are numerous pro-gamers that play in international tournaments to claim victory as one of the best. SC2 (StarCraft 2) is not only featured in live online tournaments but it also boasts numerous gamers and commentators who broadcast their daily games such as Day, HuskyStarcraft, Scarlett and White-Ra.
Wings of Liberty is just the first installment of SC2. It features Jim Raynor and the Terran army struggling to fight back against the injustice of Mengsk, the cold and calculating Protoss, and of course the overwhelming and powerful Zerg. Terrans are basically humans in space. Everything is very familiar and mechanical. Just imagine a future where humans have achieved space travel and have found the necessity to build war machines. Protoss are an advanced telepathic species that have no qualms exterminating the Zerg pestilence or anyone who gets in the way. Zerg are the "bad guys" of the galaxy. Originally controlled by the Overmind, the Zerg assimilate advanced species, incorporating their genetic code into their own. Remind of you anything? Maybe the Borg but in a much more disgusting, insectoid representation. Most SC2 players have favourite races they like to play again and again. Personally I enjoy playing Zerg and my partner is a Brotoss (an affectionately coined euphemism for players who enjoy playing Protoss).
My appreciation for Zerg is why I'm particularly excited for the upcoming release of the latest expansion, Heart of the Swarm. It features the Queen of Blades, formerly known as Kerrigan, a Ghost (expert espionage agent and assassin with powerful mental abilities) for the Terran army and Jim Raynor's love interest. She was infested by the Zerg Overmind and quickly assumed control, making her the Queen of Blades. She now seeks to gain dominance of the entire galaxy.
I recommend watching the opening cinematic for Heart of the Swarm. While it only hints at plot, it certainly makes an impression. Heart of the Swarm comes out March 12, 2013.
Teddy Bear Day! What a beary wonderful day! I could go on about Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States and how his persona created the "Teddy" bear after a hunting trip in 1902 Mississippi, following the mercy killing of an injured bear. A toy maker, Morris Michtom heard the story and thus created a toy bear in his name. Instead I want to discuss cute Teddy bears!
In North America it is common for every child to own a Teddy bear at one point in their lives. Some own many. Some hold on to their Teddy bears into adulthood. Most likely because they come to signify many adolescent memories and an attachment to their inner child. To the left is a photo of a StarCraft 2 e-sport commentator, Day9 and his Teddy bear, "Manfred".
Day9 is not the only adult who still cherishes their Teddy bear. I personally love mine. Her name is Matilda and she's a mouse. I've literally owned her since the day I was born, in my eyes she is my age. I dragged her everywhere as a child. I was so enamoured with Matilda as my best friend that my mother made up a song about her and I. At one point I even requested to make one of my middle names Matilda!
So take this day to celebrate the Teddy bears we know and love or the ones we no longer have.
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