Monday, December 17, 2018

Raccoonatics and Online Gaming, Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse Review, Second Godzilla Trailer and New Posters, Mini-Alex Christmas Wishes, and More!

Today I’m welcoming a Twitter buddy, Leo Wyld. In addition to being a Rocket Raccoon fan, he is an expert online gamer. Now, I’ve not played a lot of games online (although I am really digging the new Fallout 76), so I asked Leo to fill you in on etiquette and strategies. Take it away, Leo!

Cosmic Greetings! My name is Leo Wyld. It's not my legal name, but it's the name I use on my writing and nearly everywhere I frequent online. Here I'm representing two of my passions, writing and gaming. I'm not published as a writer but have worked as a contributor at a now-defunct Guardians of the Galaxy newsite called Guard the Galaxy. I also have designed and written my own sites, one of which is for fans of Marvel's superhero Rocket Raccoon. I dubbed the fandom Raccoonatics (combination of raccoon and lunatics) and is our site. Gaming is a hobby I've had since as long as I've had memories, starting with Atari back in the 80's. Today, though, I am writing about online gaming.

I had my first online computer in early 1999 and I've been playing some game or another online since then. Some advice and some of my favorite games:

Find friends and allies in the community. A good way to do this is to join a guild that fits your personality and playstyle. Even if you mostly play solo, having people to chat with. or group with when content requires, can make a game much more enjoyable.

Enjoy the journey. Not all players are the same and some people will enjoy simply focusing on numbers and being competitive. That said, a book is not as enjoyable by constantly focusing on page number or measuring how fast you read through it. So, enjoy your time in the virtual world as you would a good story. Read the quests. Learn some lore. Instead of a briefly-amusing pun name, think of a name and backstory for your character that fits in the game's world. That all might not be your thing, and that's ok, but you might also find a more profound appreciation for your time in the game. So give it a shot.

Learn, grow, but don't lose sight of the main goal. Everyone is new at some point. Don't be afraid to ask questions from the community. Some might be annoyed be frequently asked questions – see Mankrik's wife – but you'll likely find someone to give an answer. Don't forgot to use the Internet. Some of the toughest mechanics and quest-related quandries can be resolved by a quick web search. The more you play, you better you will become at the game. Keep in mind, there will always be players who are just better at the game and you will likely be judged at some point for your skill level (or lack thereof). Take advice when it is given kindly and work on improving where you struggle but always do so in a way you find enjoyable. Because above anything else I've said, a game is entertainment. If playing the game a certain way makes you miserable, it's just not worth it. Always put having fun first – if you can do that, you'll figure out how to navigate the other obstacles.

Now, for some online games I am currently enjoying...
World of Warcraft –PC only
Elder Scrolls Online –Is available on PC, PS4, and XB1.
Guild Wars 2 –PC only
Champions Online – PC only

I have some others I play less frequently, but I won't bother listing everything here (we'd be here a while). These listed are my most recommended. I think any of them you should at least try out. And, who knows, maybe you'll see me online. Have fun online!

Find Leo on Twitter and at the Raccoonatics website.

Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse Review

Miles Morales becomes Spider-Man and teams up with other Spider-Men from different dimensions to stop Kingpin from destroying all dimensions.
One word - wow!!
It's unlike any animated film you've seen before. It's literally a work of art put on the screen. It's also one of the best Spider-Man movies.
Combining elements of 3D, cell, anime, comic book, and graffiti art creates an amazing visual experience. It's certainly a must-see in 3D.
It focuses on Miles' story, but the other characters are also fleshed out nicely. There are many major villains in the film, but they don't distract from the story at all.
One of the funniest moments involves a scene with an elevated train - you will literally laugh yourself out of your seat. There were a lot of really funny moments, along with many touching scenes.
Even if you're tired of the superhero genre, this film is a breath of fresh air and a must see.
Very highly recommended!!

Latest Godzilla King of the Monsters Trailer and Posters

The second trailer dropped recently on YouTube. Wow! You get to see the monsters, including Ghidorah, in all their glory. They even made Mothra look bad-ass. And check out the new posters.

Monday’s Music Moves Me

Hosted by Xmas Dolly. And today it’s all about the Christmas music.

Our band has been really busy learning and playing new songs for Christmas. This is one of them – God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by MercyMe. A rocking version that I’m sure is not what you are accustomed to! Watch on YouTube or below:

New Releases

Journey Through a Dark Forest: Lyuba and Ivan in the Age of Anxiety by Carrie Anne Brownian
This Russian historical is available in four volumes.
Find them on Amazon - Vol I, Vol II, Vol III, and Vol IV

Writing Secrets of the World's Most Prolific Authors by Sean McLachlan
What does it take to write 100 books? What about 500? Or 1,000?
Find it on Amazon

Fate Summoner by Juliana Haygert
The Fire Heart Chronicles Book 5
“Magic never lies. I’m forced to make a choice. And once I decide, I can never go back.”
Find it on Amazon


The next post date for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group is January 2.
We’ll be announcing the winners of the 2018 IWSG Anthology Contest, so don’t miss it!
And we need one more co-host for that day!! If you can help out, please leave a comment or send me an email.

The #IWSGPit Twitter pitch is once a year now – and the next one is Tuesday, January15.
Don’t miss it, either!

The IWSG Goodreads Group is currently reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
The discussion will start January 23, 2019 and will go to the end of the month, but it will be up indefinitely, so you can hop in whenever you're able.

This will be my last post until January 2. I’ll be taking a break starting Friday. (And Aquaman was great! Such a fun movie.)
Everyone have a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and enjoy your holidays!


nashvillecats2 said...

Good day Alex wow first again.
Loved the post as always, the pc games were interesting to read also I enjoyed the video of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen......different to what I'm used to.
Have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to your next post in the New Year.


The Angry Lurker said...

Happy Christmas to you and yours Alex!

Pat Hatt said...

Finding a great group to play online with is a win indeed. Fun is the best way. Heard Spiderman was good, although the animation is kinda off putting to me in the trailer. Sounds like I have to give it a go though.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

Godzilla rules, and I want to see the new one. The line of dialogue: "You gotta be kiddin'" seems borrowed from the 1982 remake of "The Thing" (minus the F word). I see that "11" from Stranger Things has a prominent role along with Josh from West Wing. I'm so there!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I think the online gaming community is fascinating. I know my college-age son frequently chooses to catch up with old high school friends by playing a game with them online. Great tips for finding a place in the community, Leo.

Merry Christmas and enjoy your break, Alex!

Cathy Kennedy said...


Thanks for joining the 4M crew this week. Your rock version of 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen' by MercyMe is fabulous! The trailer for the upcoming Godzilla movie probably isn't something that I'll likely see but I always loved the old Godzilla flick as a kid and loved that he always destroyed the bad monster in the movies. :) Have a blessed and joyful Christmas - Jesus is the reason for the season!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yvonne, it's a fun song to play.

Merry Christmas, Fran!

Pat, the animation is what makes it - go see it!

Shady, that actress is keeping busy. I would like to see her in a role where she smiles someday.

Merry Christmas, Elizabeth!

Cathy, Amen!

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like online gaming could be lots of fun. Congrats to those with new releases. Wishing you and your family a safe, happy and healthy Christmas and New Year, Alex. See you in 2019. (PS I can help out Jan. 2 if needed)

Joanne said...

Merry Christmas to Ninja mini-Alex and family. Work shall interfere too much with my movie attendance. Enjoy the shows, family, and relaxing.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm an online gamer too. We used to play WarCraft on the PC, but I didn't like it much when it became WOW. We shifted to StarCraft and are now huge fans of League of Legends. I love being able to play with the family online.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad you're enjoying Fallout 76. I've heard it got mixed reviews so my boyfriend who loves games hasn't gotten it yet.

Happy Holidays! Enjoy your break. I'm on it too.

Christine Rains said...

My husband is waiting to dive into Fallout 76 over the holidays. He just logged 400 hours in the previous Fallout game! Excellent review for the new Spiderman movie. And great tips from Leo for online gaming. I've played a few online and it's definitely important to find friends. Right now I'm playing Dragon Quest XI on the PS4 and really liking it. Have a very Merry Christmas and we'll see you in the new year! :)

CV Grehan said...

Merry Christmas, Alex! Thanks for a great year!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Interested to see the Aquaman reviews...

Watched The Clovehitch Killer over the weekend - Dylan Mcdermott is so good in it!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mason, that would be awesome!

Donna, Starcraft rocks.

Natalie, I'm not sure what people aren't liking about the game.

Christine, he will be lost in the wasteland during Christmas for sure!

CV, Merry Christmas!

Madeline haven't seen that one yet.

Andrew Leon said...

I'm hoping to see Spider-Man this week, but we'll see how it goes.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Merry Christmas to you and family and all the very best for a wonderful 2019!

Chemist Ken said...

We were planning on seeing Aquaman this week, until I realized that I had mis-remembered the opening date. Saw Spiderverse instead and was pleasantly surprised. I was afraid it might be too goofy, but the story was good, and the art style was amazing. The whole family enjoyed it, which is saying something.

Have a Merry Christmas, Alex, and enjoy Aquaman next week!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Have a wonderful Christmas, Alex, and the most fantabulous year ever in 2019. You've been such great support for your fans and followers that you deserve the best of all things.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I really want to see the new Spiderman flick. It was premiering in our local movie on my birthday, but they didn't have any daytime showings, so I picked another movie. Next time!

Wow. I LOVE that rocking version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen!" (Man, they hung onto that last note a long time...)

I'm surprised, but yeah, I think I'd like to see the new "Godzilla" flick, too. It looks a lot better than the ones I saw as a kid. And it was kinda cool to see the old radio equipment at the opening of the trailer, too, because we have a lot of that same stuff. :)

Merry Christmas! "Seeya" next yer.

csuhpat1 said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family. See you in 2019.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Merry Christmas, Nila!

Ken, it was just amazing.

Patricia, thank you!

Susan, no daytime shows? Weird. And anything is better than most of the Godzilla films we saw as kids. They hooked us though.

Stacy McKitrick said...

Merry Christmas, Alex!
And yay for a Steelers win!! I sure hope they keep it up.

Arlee Bird said...

Mercy Me is a good group, but I kind of prefer songs like "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" to be done in a more traditional, maybe almost classical, style. But for what it is, their version does indeed rock and is not bad.

Have a great Christmas and New Year. It will likely be a quiet one for me, but sometimes quiet is nice.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Carrie-Anne said...

The Spiderman movie sounds really fun! I'd be very interested in checking it out.

Have a wonderful holiday season with your family!

kaykuala said...

Online gaming obviously offers a privilege of everything new - new games as a matter of choice and new friends whoever are available. Should be interesting!
Wishing you Alex, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


XmasDolly said...

Alex, great post today and I must go see "GO GO GODZILLA" & EVERYONE OF THEM. THEY LOOK GREAT... Mothra is my favorite! Also, thanks for joinin us today. OH MY GOSH, IT FINALLY STUCK IN MY HEAD.. OMG YOU'RE IN A BAND???? You said that's your song and it's fan-freakin' tastic dude! Plus it's a Christmas song.. OH MY GOSH I LOVE IT! I GOT TO SAVE THIS LINK! OMG TOTALLY RAD!!! Thanks for sharing, and I'd love to say more and more, but doctor's visit this morning & I got to get to these other Posts! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS & TAKE THAT BREAK MAN. YOU TOTALLY DESERVE! HUGSSSSSSSSSS MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS. I HOPE IT'S THE BEST~

Mark Koopmans said...

I'm sounding like an old fart, but it was interesting to get a gamer's tips and ideas as I am completely clueless about everything gaming related!

Merry Christmas and a very happy new year to you and yours, too!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've never played an online game but I'd rather be a nice player than a mean one.

I'm very excited for Godzilla.

Elephant's Child said...

Enjoy your break. You will be missed.

Liz A. said...

Yeah, SpiderMan was great. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. I didn't have the 3D option, though, as it was a preview screening. (Yes, I'm still crowing about that ;)

Juneta key said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. said...

I can get behind Leo's attitude: first rule is have fun. Nice to learn how thoughtful he is about Raccoonatics.

A Blessed Christmas to you and yours, Mini. Oh, and to Alex too.

Susan Kane said...

Eleven/El! Yay! Good to see her in movies.

Godzilla vs. every blasted monster in existence? Now that will be cool.

sherry fundin said...

Your posts are packed with so much goodness, I love visiting. Godzilla...can never go wrong with him by your side. lol Have a fabulous holiday!
sherry @ fundinmental

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

So much is going on I don't know how you keep up with all of it.
Have a great holiday. Merry Christmas to you and family.

Lisa said...

Godzilla, again? Oh well, I guess if something works...?
I LOVED Mercy Me's Christmas carol! Their version makes me think of Mannheim Steamroller and The Tran-Siberian Orchestra's takes on Christmas music... Lovely! Have a Merry Christmas and very happy celebration of the new year. I'm seeing Aquaman with my son, mother and anyone else who will go to see it with me! Yay! Can't wait!

Roland Clarke said...

Although I'm currently going through an RPG phase - AC Odyssey atm - I find that Leo Wyld's comments on online gaming excellent. I've always joined guilds and even been a guild leader - great for making new friends...and for meeting my gamer wife.

Happy Christmas to you and your family, Alex.

Suzanne Furness said...

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas time Alex. All the best for 2019.

Tonja Drecker said...

What a wonderful version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen! My son reminded me this morning that Aquaman is finally here (Yay!) Enjoyed Leo's comments. It's definitely about more than just getting through the game. So much more.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stacy, they do well on the hard games and screw up the easy ones. Typical!

Lee, when you play contemporary Christian, it's perfect.

Hey Maria! Yes, I am in a Christian band and that's one of the songs we've been playing. It's a big hit. Merry Christmas to you.

Liz, bummer on no 3D, but cool you saw it.

Lisa, yes! A lot like TSO. Enjoy Aquaman.

Roland, that's too cool.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Truedessa said...

Thanks for the Christmas song. It sure had a unique sound. I had to wrap my head around what seemed to be a slower beat, Fully enjoyed it. Thanks!

I wish you a Merry Christmas Alex!

Peace, love and light!

If I am not back in 2019, Thamk you for enriching my life.

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks for the tips on online gaming, Leo!

I'm looking forward to seeing Aquaman. Merry Christmas, Alex!

DMS said...

That is definitely the rock version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen- the first time I have heard it that way. :)

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy 2019.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Mini Alex is so festive. I like the rocking Christmas Music. I didn't used to but it has grown on me in recent years. Thank the TSO. My son loved Spider Verse.
Merry Christmas to you and yours. Wishing you joy and safety for the season and the new year.

Botanist said...

Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Alex. See you in the New Year.

John Wiswell said...

I'm so ready to see that Ghidorah fight our Godzilla!

Denise Covey said...

Enjoy your break, Alex.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
See you in 2019!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Alex! Thanks for everything you do for other writers.

Wishing you all the best in 2019.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Trudessa, thanks for being in mine.

John, yes!

Thanks everyone and Merry Christmas!

Julie Flanders said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Alex!

The Happy Whisk said...

Happy Christmas, to you and the Mrs! Great song, I like versions like this. Gives it some kick! Fun.

Angela Wooldridge said...

Looking forward to the spiderman movie - nice to see such a different take on it.
Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I watched the Godzilla trailer last night. It looks fun. He thought they were trying to cram too many monsters in it, though.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I'm looking forward to Aquaman this weekend.

Have a nice break, Alex. Wishing you and your family a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas!!!

Al Penwasser said...

Godzilla looks awesome!
Any movie that can turn Mothra into a bad-ass has my vote.

Deniz Bevan said...

Okay, that's weirdly cool -- I just commented on an earlier post and asked for clips of your band! How did you know? :-)
Merry Christmas!

Loni Townsend said...

My son is a huge Spiderman fan, so I'm looking forward to taking him to the new Spider-verse movie. Nice to meet Leo. I've been known to play WoW on occasion as well. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ivy, and it's a blast to play!

The first one had three - this looks to have four or five.

Al, I know!

Deniz, Ninja skills...

Loni, he will dig it.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Mary Kirkland said...

I've always been a huge fan of Godzilla. Ever since I was a kid I've liked those movies. There was a Godzilla movie marathon on cable a few months ago and I binge watched 2 days worth of movies. lol So I'm looking forward to this one.

Rhonda Albom said...

Enjoy the holidays Alex, good on you for taking a break. I am taking one too, but more because I have been sick enough to land myself in a hospital for tropical illnesses in South America. (I am out now) and recovering well. (Before you ask, they never figured it out, but it's not dengue fever).

Anonymous said...

Hi Leo. Great tips. I love to play games but my ability in navigating the controller prevents me from playing anything too difficult. So I play games like Alan Wake and Slender Man. I also watch my kids play online. "We" played Fortnite last weekend. So much fun!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Alex.


Lynda Dietz said...

I'm always up for a Godzilla movie! We used to have Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla on VHS and I keep thinking I need to find a DVD of it. Classic bad/good, as old Godzilla movies go.

I love the Mercy Me version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and would love to do that one. We do the Meredith Andrews version, but we try to ramp it up a bit. Even Christmas music should be relevant.

Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year! See you after it all dies down.

Sherry Ellis said...

That's all good advice from the Raccoon!

Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Alex!

bookworm said...

My husband's cousin loves MercyMe and now I know why. I was - blown away? - by this. Almost as good as Trans-Siberian orchestra, in its own way. Alana

klahanie said...

Greetings Alex,

Very nice guest post. I'd love to be a honorary raccoon. I've already been an honorary groundhog, but that's another story. Seriously, some wise, thoughtful words. "Don't lose sight of the main goal", indeed. Embrace all the positive resources on offer.

Godzilla is one monster of a movie. But never, ever as amazing as, "Bambi Meets Godzilla."

Have a fun Christmas and here's to 2019.


Jemi Fraser said...

Very cool song version!! :)
I remember watching the original black and white Godzilla on Sunday mornings with my dad - so fun!

D.G. Hudson said...

Have a Merry Christmas, Alex, and best wishes for 2019! I'd love to see Aquaman and what they can do with that story. Looks better than those old comics in the trailers I've seen. My hubs has a collection of some old comics, and quite a few Big Little Books, an earlier version of the comic genre.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Merry Christmas, Alex!

Mark said...

So awesome, luv Rocket! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Love the music selection!
Thanks for the movie review of the Spiderverse.
Merry Christmas!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mary, I've binge-watched Godzilla films before.

Rhonda, glad you're better now!

Lynda, yes it should.

Alana, yes, almost as good as TSO.

Gary, Bambi Meets Godzilla is a classic.

DG, I still have a lot of my old DC comics.

Merry Christmas, everyone! And go see Aquaman - such a fun movie.

Toi Thomas said...

I haven't personally been into gaming since high school, but I still love the culture. I enjoy seeing what's out there and watching others.
I so want to see Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse.
Merry Christmas, Alex.
And, Happy New Year!

mail4rosey said...

We went to see Spiderman yesterday and it was so GOOD!!! I want to see Aquaman next. I'd also like to see Mary Poppins. :)

Happy to meet your Twitter friend and online gamer (hi Leo!). Merry Christmas to you both. :)

Magic Love Crow said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Alex! Here's to a great 2019! Thanks for the review on Aquaman! Excellent! Little mini Alex in his Santa's hat is so cute! The post about the pc games, I found very interesting! I hope you have a great time off! Thanks for being you!

Magic Love Crow said...

I hope you got my comment Alex!

J.L. Murphey said...

Nothing to add except...Merry Christmas Alex!

J Lenni Dorner said...

Have a wonderful holiday season!
Wishing you and your loved ones peace, health, happiness, and prosperity in the coming New Year. Thank you for your kindness and caring.

I keep hearing good things about the Spiderman movie. Good list of new releases. I'm happy to help out with co-hosting if you can let me know what to do. Rock on, Marry Ninja.

- J

Lidy said...

Didn't know they were making another Godzilla movie. Do you know that the woman who played the wife/nurse to the soldier plays the Scarlet Witch in the Avenger movies?

Patsy said...

Wishing you a happy New Year and many good things in 2019.

mail4rosey said...

Back to let you know I saw Aquaman and loved it too. Also wanted to wish you a Happy New Year. :)

Al Penwasser said...

I've heard nothing but good things about the Spiderman movie, so I may have to give it a shot. Although, I am a curmudgeon who prefers his webcrawler to just be Peter Parker.
I can change, I guess. I have a smartphone and understand the internets.
I just don't like kids on my lawn.

Sandra Cox said...

Interesting post, Leo. I've never gamed but it sounds like fun.

Alex, Have you seen Aquaman yet? We saw it this week. LOVED it:)

Happy New Year.

mshatch said...

Happy New Year and I hope you enjoyed your holiday :)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Congratulations to the IWSG winners! Super exciting!!! Yay!

I really enjoyed Aquaman. I thought it was going to be a boring DC movie. Sadly, these superhero movies are feeling trite these days. But this one! Whoa... I blew me out of the water. :P

As for Spiderverse, the art impressed me! The storyline was not Blah like I had expected. Kudos to them!

Because of the holidays and the intensity of having a sick family, posting today's IWSG slipped my mind. **Scurrying off to whip mine up**

Happy New Year, Alex!