www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bthesite/game-cache/bal-friday-buffet-speculative-details-on-the-next-playstation-assassins-creed-3-mania-and-fake-geek-girls-20120330,0,2042558.story

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Friday Buffet: Speculative details on the next PlayStation, 'Assassin's Creed 3' mania and 'fake geek girls'

Plus our Tweet of the Week and the tragic problem of hoarding in 'Skyrim'

By Dave Gilmore

2:06 PM EDT, March 30, 2012

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News Roundup

•••• According to Kotaku, the next PlayStation is codenamed "Orbis," it will be out next year and will not be friendly to used games or PlayStation 3 games. No word on if it blocks the door to your house and collects a toll every time you try and leave. [Kotaku]

•••• "SimCity" will require a live internet connection to start playing, and will be an "internet-dependent" gaming experience. The emphasis on multiplayer seems like a convenient excuse to employ serious digital rights management, no? [Escapist]

•••• Nobody can be exactly certain of the date when "Super Mario Bros." was officially released. It's not a scientific guess, but I’m gonna go with “the eighties.” [Gamasutra]

•••• "Assassin's Creed 3" is already the most pre-ordered game in Ubisoft’s history. What, you don’t have yours yet? Dude, this game comes out in OCTOBER! Get on it! [CVG]

•••• Researchers are prototyping a method of using a trampoline as a video game controller. I can’t wait to post all the YouTube videos of kids flying through their flatscreen TVs when this happens. [IT World]

•••• "Cover vote season" is officially in full effect. "Madden" is down to 16 finalists (Ray Rice is among them), while "NCAA" is down to two and "NHL" has just opened its poll. [ESPN, SB Nation, EA]

Tweet of the Week

"Do you love GameStop? Here's a test: Send in your girlfriend and see if she gets creeped out. No girlfriend? THAT'S PART OF THE TEST." — @BenKuchera

Blowing Off Steam

Tara Tiger Brown's Forbes.com piece titled "Dear Fake Geek Girls: Please Go Away" has generated a great deal of heat on both sides of the issue this week.

I think what inflames people about opinion articles like this is that it reveals a logical flaw in our social and mental makeup that we can't really understand. Brown essentially argues that society is now rampant with poseurs because of how easy it is to spend a weekend on Wikipedia learning about a geeky topic and declare one’s self a geek.

The problem is that saying "I'm a geek lol!" is not the same as saying "I'm a doctor (lol)!" Geek is an ambiguous cultural distinction. It doesn't correlate to, as Brown's article contends, specialized skill or knowledge. There is no geek union, no entrance exam, no ongoing certification program to abide by.

Sure, there are plenty of people who call themselves "geeks" using a very broad definition that might upset the self-identified geek girls. But where is the harm? This is the part we can’t wrap our brains around. What sense does it make to enjoy your own thing less because you don’t like how someone else enjoys it.

That kind of reaction displays our own insecurities, fearing that an amateur aficionado of our geeky thing is somehow going to ruin it for everyone. Labels such as "geek" are useful cultural shorthand, but to me there is nothing unproductively geekier than being obsessed with the labels other people append to themselves.

Loading for Next Week

I'll share my thoughts on the new UEFA tournament DLC for "Fifa 12" and the possibly ineffective current model for sports game releases. We'll also unveil a new feature where we delve into the coolest (and weirdest) gaming-related projects being funded on Kickstarter. If that fails to pique your interest, I’ll give away PlayStation Vitas to every single reader.*

*Giveaway contingent on my winning MegaMillions jackpot tonight

Really Important Video

Oh sure, it's funny now to joke about "Hoarders" and "Skyrim" in the same sentence, but as soon as people get tired of "Animal Hoarders," A&E is going to at least consider doing a pilot for video game hoarding. I do collect a lot of things in "Skyrim," but I draw the line (as I do in real life) at fruits and vegetables. I can't respect anyone who rummages through sacks for apples and potatoes in that game.