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Monday Meltdown: 'Mass Effect 3' release, GDC shenanigans and the mythical 'Steam Box'

Plus a shocking video that suggests hitting on women using video games may not spark instant romance

By Dave Gilmore

11:16 AM EST, March 5, 2012

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News Roundup

•••• The 26th edition of the Game Developers Conference kicks off in San Francisco today. Follow the official #GDC tag on Twitter for a bunch of people reporting on how hung over they are. [GDC]

•••• Valve is reportedly working on a “Steam Box” gaming console to pair with their crappy PC game purchasing service (which inspired the name of our Friday rant feature). Doesn't “Steam Box” sound like something that would blow up pretty quickly? [The Verge]

•••• In case you've been residing in a cave, it's “Mass Effect 3” week. The voice actress who plays female Commander Shepherd has done voice work for 129 games in her career. The Daily Mail, being The Daily Mail, put together this gallery of every scantily-clad strumpet to which she's given life. [The Daily Mail]

•••• Zynga may need to step up the ads (or nudge the paywall forward) if it's going to compete as a public company. [AdWeek]

On Shelves Tomorrow (March 6)

•••• When “Mass Effect 3” finally arrives, months of hype and years of anticipation will be put to the test. Not only will the title be held up against the hoopla around its release, but as the conclusion to the trilogy, fans of the first two titles will watch with a very discerning eye if Commander Shepherd and the fate of Earth are given a fitting end. This is a long-winded way of saying that I'll be playing a lot of “Mass Effect 3” over the next couple weeks.

•••• Forget whatever the groundhog said a month ago. Someone released a baseball game, so spring is definitely here. “MLB 12: The Show” arrives in PS3 owners' laps tomorrow, as they prepare for another year of taunting Xbox loyalists who are derpived of this excellent game. Instead, 360 owners will have to settle for “MLB2K12,” which for all the series' faults, is coming nicely packed in a “NBA2K12” combo as well.

•••• Fighting fans will be eagerly mashing buttons in “Street Fighter x Tekken” tomorrow, as well. Please kids, mash responsibly and respectfully.

Weekly Challenge

I'm not sure if the fact that “Jenga” is now a viable gaming experience is a good or bad thing. On one hand, “Jenga” in real life isn't a cost-prohibitive venture. You just need some cheap wood blocks and you can have the real thing right there. On the other hand, “Jenga”! Either way, “Jenga” by NaturalMotion for iOS (Free) and Android ($2.99) is a very well-executed port of the classic party game. You can play by yourself, pass and play, or play a friend online. For this week's challenge, you can play me directly by searching for the username “dgilmorexu.” Be careful, though. I'll “Jenga” the hell out of you.

Really Important Video

I'm not really sure how I feel about encouraging this, but what the hell? This is a group of dudes on a hidden camera show hitting on women in the park. For this episode, they needed to work in a video game title to their rap. The “Final Fantasy” exchange that starts around 3:15 is simply golden. (Some NSFW language).