The Future Of Spawn On Me And How You Can Help

When we started Spawn On Me over a year ago we couldn’t have fathomed the impact it would have made in our lives. We know that have one of the smartest, dynamic & engaged communities as the foundation of our show. Cicero & I constantly pinch ourselves because we never thought any of this would have happened and especially this quickly.

Every success we have is a direct product of each and every one of you listening and sharing our show each week. There is nothing better than knowing you as our audience care about us as people and respect what we are trying to do with our show. I truly believe that we have one of the best gaming podcasts on the internet and that our show is doing something bold, new and necessary.

SpawnPointBlog has been our home for a long time but if we’re being honest about the landscape of where gaming discussions are headed, written articles aren’t where it’s going. Spawn On Me has been more successful in it’s first year than SPB has been in the three+ years it has been in existence. In all honesty we got in the game fairly late and unfortunately missed that train (the 90’s say hi).

We want to do more, to broaden our reach and open the discussions we can have, this is where you all come in.

We are running our first and only funding campaign that is going to ask directly for funds for our show. Our hope is do more streaming events, finally delve into some video production, solidify our podcasting setups and finally hopefully find a new home for our website that better fits our show and future projects.

All these things cost money, money that we currently don’t have. Hopefully with a little help from our friends (all of you) we’ll be able to make this happen. We are asking for $6000, this will cover new equipment and maintenance of current equipment. (computers, mics, soundproofing…etc) This will also help with things like being able to hire a proper web designer to help us make our site SUPER HAWT.

If you are so inclined you’ll be able to help in multiple ways. the first is via our crowdfunding campaign.

Donate Here

If you’d like to purchase some of our merchandise go here:

Rep #Brookago

Again we couldn’t have gotten here without you and we love all of you making our show one that we can be proud of and look forward to bringing you all each week.

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new ESN logo

Spawn On Me is Moving (Kinda)


We have some really good news to share with all of you, our show Spawn On Me has been picked up by an awesome podcasting network called ESN.FM. The Electric Shadow Network consists 14 (soon to be 15 -yay!) shows with topics touching everything from movies, comics, tech, interviews and everything in-between. We were really excited to be asked initially to come aboard but after seeing and listening to the quality of the shows on ESN we knew this would be a great place for us to expand Brookago into.


We are always looking to expand our listenership, audience and exposure. Being a part of a network totally helps with that on multiple fronts. We’ll have some avenues to hopefully bring folks from other shows on to Spawn On Me and vice versa. We’ve also been talking A LOT lately about broadening out to attending cons and other events. Being a part of a network totally helps with that too. There are lots of advantages that we’ll be discussing on the show at a later date.


None really, or at least none that affect how you as our dope Brookago fam will see. You won’t have to change any RSS feeds, nor will you have go through any hoop jumping to consume our content. You’ll have a new avenue via ESN.FM once our page and feed is up but that’s about it.


Huge shout out to Moisés Chiullan for giving up at least two first round draft picks to pick us up and having for believing that we should combine our dopeness quotient.

Massive shout out to the Jessica and Anna from Unconsoleable for being our shadow brokers and always being there for kind words, encouragement and ribbing. Now we can throw paper planes at each other from closer distances.

MEGA SHOUT and most important one do each and everyone of you who have listened, followed, subscribed, shared and tweeted anything pertaining to our show. It’s crazy how far we’ve come in a year, this is still just the beginning and we really do truly love and appreciate you all for being our Brookago fam.


Stay tuned for dopeness. It is coming………


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Want To Help Support Victims Of Police Brutality? Here’s How!


I can distinctly remember hearing about Amadou Diallo’s death at the hands of New York City police officers in 1999. I was coming home from college classes one day and heard on the news that a man had been shot 41 times by police officers. The thing that blared back at me was the constant refrain of the number: 41…41…41. It’s an exorbitant number, but on this night it was framed in the context of “justified force” — a term that we’ve seen thrown around for decades to justify the overuse of power. Used to justify the outcomes of incidents that are based more on racial profiling than evidence. A term trotted out to fortify the status quo when inequity has been the cornerstone of a justice system that too often fails people of color.

Flash forward a decade and a half to 2014 and we still see the unnecessary deaths of men and women of color at the hands of police officers. The only changes we see are the names of the victims and the circumstances that have led to their untimely demises.

So after the system’s refusal to prosecute officers on behalf of Eric Garner, on the heels of the the same refusal for Michael Brown, I felt like there was a need to do something, and to do something in a realm where I am familiar. Videogames this past year have been more than just my hobby; they have provided a space for reflection, catharsis and community. That community is you, and I want you to help spread the word about our first #Spawn4Good event.


We at the SpawnPointBlog & Spawn On Me Podcast have been inspired by what we’ve seen in the activism spaces with #icantbreathe and #BlackLivesMatter. We’ve discussed these topics on our show and we want to continue to amplify the messages these communities have been sharing. Whenever we can, we want to put a spotlight on injustices and give people a space through gaming to have their voices heard.

On Jan 17-18, 2015, we ask you to join with us and stream on Twitch. This happening will provide a deliberate space for you to have fun with the community, and to reflect on the unequal way people of color, and specifically African-American people, are treated by law enforcement. We will support the families of those that were lost by donating to the Erica Garner Fund, and The New York Lawyers Guild that continues to organize protests and bail funds for those imprisoned for exercising their 1st Amendment rights on this matter.

All funds donated will be deposited to our CrowdRise fundraiser and then equally distributed to the organizations and families listed above. If you have information about or suggestions for additional organizations involved in work regarding police brutality, or scholarship funds that are collecting donations around this issue, please share those notes in the comments or tweet us @spawnpointblog and @spawnonme

We will be streaming from our respective channels on Twitch (SOM) & (SOM2) starting around noon EST. We’ll also be hosting other streams as well. Please share this event at anyone you think would be interested, affected or has a platform to signal boost. Share this with POC and Non-POC alike!

If you’d like to stream with us here are suggested stream rules that we’d like you to follow and also a of picture you can use to help promote.


I want to start 2015 with a positive note, not only for the greater good but I also want our gaming community to not be afraid to have real conversations about issues that affect members of our community. This is an opportunity to have some of that discussion and to spotlight an issue that needs addressing.

Thank you for listening, supporting and we hope to see you streaming on the 17th & 18th.

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Is This America? Please Wake Me from This Nightmare

Smalltown, USA – Citizens are scared but defiant. The last few days in the place they call home has seen it change dramatically. Armored vehicles roam the avenues. Men patrol the streets with military grade weapons. Curfews, barricades, and checkpoints limit the movement of the citizens. People are being indiscriminately detained.  This description used to be relegated to our fictions but now life has imitated art over in Ferguson, MO.

As I watched the footage from the latest day of protests in the Midwest, I had an eerie sense of deja vu. Where had I seen scenes like this before? Then it hit me, THQ*’s Homefront. The people of Ferguson are under siege. Each day of protests is met with a force nowhere close to the opposition it faces. Projectiles like plastic water bottles (and the occasional glass bottle) are matched by projectiles from the police – stun grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas. While the occupiers in the underrated Homefront was a unified Korean invasion force, I’m more disheartened by the fact that local domestic police forces are the ones setting up the barricades in front of places like Home Depot & McDonald’s. The most disturbing part is that the National Guard that has made it the area is less heavily armed than the local law enforcement. In fact, I have yet to see a member of the National Guard holding a weapon of any kind.

I listened as state appointed police czar, Cpt. Ron Johnson, spoke about how there was a glass bottle thrown towards the armored police presence and one provocateur who openly antagonized the police thus justifying the use of tear gas on hundreds of largely peaceful protesters. Why is such a show of force even necessary? What is justifiable about pointing a loaded assault rifle at a person holding poster board?

Please don’t take these words as an endorsement for violent unrest. Don’t even take this piece as a wholesale indictment of law enforcement. I have many friends who have voluntarily decided to ‘protect and serve’ and they, like many others, serve the public with grace and honor. I bring this to you to help you to remember how quickly and how eerily close we are coming to a reality that looks like totalitarian fiction and not the United States that we all know and love. Our forefathers used their wisdom to establish this great nation after military action. Let’s allow that wisdom continue to flourish in the face of martial law.

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*Note: THQ went bankrupt in 2013 and the rights to this franchise were sold to Crytek. In July, the franchise was sold again to Koch Media, parent company of Homefront, The Revolution developer Deep Silver.

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An Open Letter To N4G

I’ve been gaming as long as I can remember, and at one point I even decided that I wanted to make games. Instead, through an act of pure happenstance, I created and began running a videogame website. In retrospect I did this way too late and way after the gaming journalism bubble had already solidified into the calcified shell that is known as the battle between the major sites vs the not-so-major sites.

As one of the not-so-major sites, N4G has been a valuable way for us to get our content out into the world But lately I’m finding that for small sites like ours, the obstacles being put in the way of generating content are really making N4G less palatable as a content aggregator.

Over the past couple of years moderation has become extremely inconsistent, to the extent that I don’t believe many of the moderators are actually reading the content of the stories they are flagging and make arbitrary decisions much of the time. I understand that you don’t want it to become the WorldStarHipHop of videogame news, but consistency in the moderation would remove some of that Wild West feeling.

Recently, we posted a commentary article about a Kotaku piece, sourcing our site as the main source (for the commentary), and Kotaku as a secondary source. Plenty of N4G articles are allowed to publish in this format; ours was not. When we questioned the moderator about this inconsistency, my writer and I were banned for three days. This sort of arbitrary behavior is rampant, right down to the comments that moderators sometimes provide along with failed articles. A moderator recently flagged a piece from one of my writers with a single phrase: “Just lame.”

I’m fine with a site making its own rules—hell we have our own over at The SpawnPointBlog but we do our best to be nuanced in our approach and reasonable while looking at the circumstances presented. Of late it seems like a level of “Too big to fail” has taken over at your site, in which N4G has lost regard for content providers. This is unfortunate not only because it discourages lesser-known content providers from bothering with the process, but also because that weariness means that readers lose out on other valuable perspectives.

So: Dear N4G Head Honchos, here are three small steps you can take to make things better:

  1. Allow site owners to cite their own site as the main link (especially on opinion pieces) and let them add the sourced site as an alternate link. You can then moderate that story properly and flag writers if they don’t source properly.
  2. Hire some moderators, don’t crowd source them. The amount of traffic that your six websites are pulling must make you some money. Why not make it rain on some of the people who have been good stewards for your site. It hopefully would lead to more consistent moderation, moderators who actually read the stories they’re moderating, and less trolling. Good moderation leads to good content, which leads to happy content creators and more readers for you.
  3. Give content creators better tools to escalate moderator disputes. Content creators have few ways to actually escalate an issue past a mod if they feel like a story has been unjustly failed or flagged.  Being able to upload screenshots to document exchanges with moderators would help keep things even and fair, which will ultimately also lead to happy content creators and happier readers.


I want readers to know this isn’t a piss and moan fest; this is about fairness. This is about letting the small guys have a chance against the Omega Supremes of gaming journalism. It’s about giving diverse voices a platform to share stories that won’t be on major sites. To make sure this continues to happen, you’ll have to fix your front door—because right now it’s broken.

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8 Minutes of Quantum Break Gameplay…But Will You Want to Play It?

Gamescom 2014 is here and Microsoft opened the world’s largest games expo with their Xbox press conference. A metric ton of games were shown and discussed during the 90 minute conference. While there were some new game announcements, most of the games were shown previously at June’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The game that was previously announced but not shown was Remedy Games‘ Quantum Break. Well the wait for gameplay footage for this Xbox One exclusive is finally over with the 8 minute gameplay demo shown below:

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As you can see, graphically, the game looks absolutely stunning. Particle effects and dynamic lighting are thrown front and center to amaze and titillate. The footage shows the main game mechanic, the protagonist’s ability to manipulate time. As the main character, combat is completely changed by your ability to freeze time on enemies or small portions of the environment. Freezing time around an enemy, shooting at them, and then allowing the time to unfreeze and get bullets hailed at said baddies seems to be the way this mechanic is most utilized. The question I had after watching this video is: “Why do I want to do any of this?”.

The game seems beautiful, yes, but I don’t know if spamming a ‘gimmick’ button is the way to make a compelling game. While I walked away less than impressed with the footage shown, I’m willing to give the makers of the excellent Alan Wake the benefit of the doubt. Be sure to check back with us as we learn more about this game in the months leading up to its 2015 release.

What are your thoughts on the video and the game?  Let us know in the comments below.

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TheSpawnPointBlog Has Reached 10th Dan Level!

We are super happy and proud to say that our team has grown +1 today and it’s a DAN!!

If you’ve heard the last couple of episodes of Spawn On Me, then you might have heard us talk about our newest contributor Dan Moore aka “Dan The Robot”. We are redonkulously excited to have him be a part of our team and can’t wait for him to share in all of the SpawnPointBlog hijinks.

Here is a little bit more about the man, the myth, the robot, from the man himself:

As for who I am, I am a lover of games, food, adult beverages, and food. That was intended. I am originally from Los Angeles, California, 12 years in Chicago, and now Milwaukee. I have a cat and a lady. I am a robot.

So please welcome Dan with open arms and give him e-hugs. You’ll see his work tomorrow in his review of Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition Review in both written and……VIDEO FORM!!

Give him a shout over at his Twitter!

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Guess Who’s Been Invited to Dinner

We woke this morning to the most pleasant of surprises. Spawn On Me guest and great beard grower, Kevin L . Clark penned an article for called 10 Video Game Podcasts You Should Know About and Spawn On Me was right there in the mix!  We have been extremely fortunate and grateful to all of our guests and supporters in the short time since we began. Thanks, Kev, for honoring us in this way and congratulations to the other shows spotlighted. It was well deserved!

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Forza Horizon 2 is Today’s Intentional E3 Leak from Microsoft

Playground Studios, maker of the surprisingly fun Forza Horizon, announced today, via IGN that the rumored sequel is indeed a reality and will be shown at next week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Forza Horizon 2 will be a joint venture with Playground Studios and the Forza Motorsports series maker Turn 10 Studios and will have a version of its big brother’s Drivatar feature-set.




The game will feature hundreds of vehicles headlined by the 2015 Lamborghini Huracan. Like its predecessor, the centerpiece is the Horizon Music festival so expect to hear lots of great tracks as you drive around the vistas of southern Europe. A weather system is also scheduled to make its debut; a first for a Forza game. Forza Horizon 2  is scheduled to be released on the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 this fall. Sumo Digital will be making the 360 version while the folks at Playground run lead development for the Xbox One.


This announcement pushes yet another game out of the rumor category and into the confirmed column for E3 which begs the question: “What’s left for Microsoft at E3?”.  Quantum Break has been pushed to 2015 and is rumored to not have a big presence, if any, at E3. Sunset Overdrive released several gameplay videos in advance of their press conference demo. Now Forza Horizon 2 is being announced early? How many other exclusive titles can we expect to see from Redmond come their June 9th press conference? It’s been confirmed that there will be a 2014 release within the Halo series but whether it’s the suspected Halo 2 Anniversary or the rumored Halo:The Master Chief Collection is anyone’s guess. Is this really enough to garner the mindshare of the gamers and other onlookers for arguably the biggest gaming news day of the year? I don’t think so.



It’s already known that the Sony first-party title, The Order:1886,  has been delayed to 2015, leaving the one exclusive title that we know about from the Japanese game maker being the already delayed Drive Club. The news of the Sony delays put Microsoft in a very good position, seemingly desperate for positive momentum, going into E3 but it looks like they’re unnecessarily deflating their own hype balloon by announcing so many things early.  Are you still excited for the E3 console press conferences?  What games would you like to see that haven’t been announced/confirmed as of yet? Let us know in the comments below.

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180 degrees

Microsoft Puts Their Feet On Eddie Murphy’s Couch

What is 51 weeks?

That’s the question in our game of Jeopardy. The answer: This is how long it took for Microsoft to confirm that they have no marketing strategy for the Xbox One and concede defeat in the next-gen console war. May 21, 2013, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One to the world. The console announced that day had already morphed from the always online device it was rumored to be prior to its announcement.  Two weeks later, at E3 2013, the messaging out of Redmond changed some more; users will be able to play preowned games and the packed-in Kinect will not be mandatory to use the console but will be included in every box. While it was not going to be mandatory it was strongly hinted that Kinect is fundamental to the Xbox One experience thus justifying it’s $499 price point, 100 dollars more than Playstation 4.

Yesterday, all of that changed…again. Yesterday, Xbox head Phil Spencer, announced that the Kinect, deemed to be an integral part of the Xbox One experience, the same Kinect that was going to completely change your experience both as a gamer and as a purveyor of living room entertainment, will be an optional peripheral starting in June. The benefit to removing the piece of tech will be a $100 decrease in the price of the console to $399. This move makes it the same price as the more technically capable PS4. In concert with this announcement was the news that the Games with Gold program will also be making the move to Microsoft’s premier console starting with Halo:Spartan Assault and Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood. Like the Playstation Plus model that it’s duplicating, games will be available to you as long as your Xbox Live Gold subscription is valid (Currently users own their GwG downloads). Additionally, non-gaming/entertainment apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus, do not require an XBL Gold subscription to use. When these announcements were made, many people across the internet rejoiced. The push for making gamers play poorly made motion controlled games is finally over.  I am not one of those people.

Yes, I realize that price is an important factor for many consumers and for many I think this pricing will make the Xbox One more attractive. One of the myriad problems I have with this move is, “What about the 5 million gamers worldwide that were excited for what a future full of voice controls could mean?”. You read that correctly, in the 5 months of recordable data, almost 5 million Xbox Ones have been sold. This is roughly 60% better than the Xbox 360, year-to-date and by far Microsoft’s most successful console launch. While  the subtraction of Kinect isn’t necessarily the death-nail for the peripheral, the fact that they haven’t announced pricing for the console bundle with it, or the price of the Kinect sold separately, doesn’t bode well.

We’re just six months into the life cycle of the console and the console is doing exceedingly well, in a vacuum. Why did Microsoft feel the need to concede failure so definitively…and so soon? What type of messaging are they sending out to the world? Can you really trust a company that succumbs to pressure from the community the way that Microsoft has so recently? What if the powers that be had been this quick to react when they released the original Xbox with only an ethernet port and not coupled with a 56K modem that was the dominant technology of the time? Multiplayer gaming would not be what it is today without Xbox Live and Xbox Live would not be what it was, and still is, without standardizing every Xbox console to work only with a broadband connection.  This provided the consumer with a quality expectation and guaranteed that developers could design an Xbox game with multiplayer in mind because every Xbox owner would have the ability to have the same high quality experience.

It’s Not All Bad….

I’m not completely negative here. There are still a few things that we don’t know. We don’t know how much the “bundled” Xbox One will cost, nor do we know the price of the Kinect sold separately. Say they release the bundled Xbox One for $449 with a digital copy of Titanfall or Forza Motorsports 5  while also moving apps to the front of the pay wall. Would that have been enough to make the Xbox One an appealing choice? Let’s also say that the Kinect sold separately is $79, does that make a bundled Xbox One at $450 with a game, more attractive than Kinect-less one at $400? Personally, I think the console priced this aggressively coupled with the Games with Gold program and the destruction of the pay wall would have been all that was needed to achieve the desire results.

If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery Sony must be absolutely blushing this week! Virtually everything that Microsoft is doing they “borrowed” from Sony. Xbox’s used game policy? Sony did it first. Xbox’s handling of app services? Sony’s. X1’s free and discounted games program? You guessed it; directly from Sony. Xbox’s new price point? Ibid. Recently it was noted that the controller light bar that has caused much consternation for Playstation 4 users was added to work with the recently announced Project Morpheus. Often were there cries to have the light toggled off or have the controller redesigned to omit them. Instead, Sony remained steadfast, and silent. They had a plan and they stuck to it. They had conviction and a vision. They’ve only recently decided to share it with us. Why couldn’t Microsoft do the same? Why couldn’t the Microsoft of today be the same company that had the foresight and fortitude to weather the storm during the launch of their initial console?

What does the exclusion of Kinect mean for developers? Will we see the game that expertly marries motion and conventional control schemes? That prospect seems less likely now. How do we differentiate these current consoles from each other? More importantly, how do we differentiate them from last gen? Yes, they’re both technically more powerful than its respective counterpart but that’s it. To me, the Kinect was the most next-gen(y) thing about this new generation.  Its applications, from a gaming and a casual prospective was the one place where you could easily see innovations taking place. Now that’s gone and all we’ve got is stuff that’s pretty but stagnant.

Microsoft’s marketing messaging has been more temperamental than the internet critics they’re trying to placate. Will there be a tangible message that consumers and early adopters can understand? I guess we’ll find out at E3.

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