Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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19 Responses

  1. ian351c says:

    For plane trips, I prefer the following:
    The latest n weeks of The Economist free previews (quick to download while boarding)
    Some simple puzzle games: Flow, Gas Tycoon, Gravity, Cave Bowling
    Stuff I’ve played to death but like to revisit every so often: Zombie Gunship, iBomber Series, Jelly Defense, Osmos

    I don’t fly as much as I used to, but tablets make it bearable since I’m too big to use a laptop in economy with any amount of comfort.Report

  2. Hoosegow Flask says:

    I haven’t flown in a while, but Games Magazine used to be my go-to. Do they even still make it? It offer(s/ed) a nice variety of puzzles on quality paper, as opposed to the 500-pages-of-word-search-on-newsprint type books. It allowed to me focus on something and forget about my surroundings without being overly complicated. My favorites used to be the battleship and the one where you had to figure out how to fill out a grid to make a picture based on the number of consecutive squares.Report

    • I remember Games, my grandmother used to get us a subscription every year. I had thought they went out of business, but it looks like they are still around, with a web site right out of 1997.

      According to Wikipedia though, it is all newsprint now instead of glossy paper.

      I don’t have any problem using my 11″ laptop during a flight, Civ 4 ftw.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

      I used to *LOVE* Games. And, yeah, that’s what I bought waaay back in the 90’s. (They had wacky offbeat mazes… like there was a pile of keys and you had to pick a starting key and then travel along the keys to get to the end. Stuff like that occupied me for hours.)Report

    • KenB in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

      Yes, Games is still around – I get a subscription every now and then. But a lot of their puzzle makers have their own websites and apps now. If you like Battleships and similar deduction puzzles, check out Conceptis Puzzles or their apps on the App Store — they offer a certain amount of free puzzles before you have to start forking out dough to support your habit.Report

  3. Pinky says:

    No games on planes for me. Short flight, a little reading and people-watching. Medium flight, movie. Long flight, try to sleep.

    This weekend, so far, more poker than I expected.Report

  4. Mike Dwyer says:

    I’ve been thinking about you a bit this week Jaybird and was waiting for the Saturday! post to bring this topic up. While in no way do I consider myself a ‘gamer’ I certainly do love video games. My brother, on the other hand, was the athlete of the family and other than his mild obsession with Legend of Zelda in the 1980s and Mario Kart in the 1990s, he has never been much for video games. So I was completely floored when he told me last weekend that he has gotten hooked on Clash of Clans. So this got me thinking about all those games like it. And to be honest I just don’t get it. It seems like a more advanced form of Tamagotchi, where you have to keep doing all these little micro actions over a period of time and you have a limited amount of control over what happens (not being able to direct your troops when they are attacking something? WTF?)

    This also got me thinking about RPGs, which is why i thought of you. You talk a lot about them here and my most recent attempt at trying to play one was the Walking Dead game on my tablet. I spent a flight from Louisville to Baltimore trying to get into it and I seriously wanted to throw the tablet after about 10 minutes. I just couldn’t stand the pace.

    So my question is, does this say something about me? I love first-person shooters. I want pretty much none-stop action most of the time. Once in a while I have been able to slow things down with Arkham Asylum or the SplinterCell games, but I think it’s the promise of action around the corner that keeps me plugged in. Why can’t I get into RPGs? Is it ADD or something else?Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Well, first off, “there’s no accounting for taste”. Personally, I find sports games to be the dullest things in the world (Cyberball 2072 a notable exception). I’m pretty sure that Madden is consistently the best seller of the year and it’s a genre that I just don’t get. (Quick! Lemme google! Huh. Madden was #4 last year. Call of Duty was #1. GTA was #3. Destiny was #2.)

      So, for what it’s worth, your personal tastes aligned with the top selling two games. Top three, if you’re a GTA kinda guy.

      RPGs are niche in the first place and provide a much different experience. I’d compare them more to an interactive movie than, say, to the games I grew up with on the Atari. For one, you don’t need any particular physical skill to play most of the RPGs that I enjoy. Maybe some light math skills (“will I die next turn if I don’t cast a healing spell?”) but no real twitch skill.

      When you say “slow things down with Arkham Asylum”, that’s my “speed things up” kinda game. As such, I’ve got a tentative conclusion that most of the games you mention you enjoy are games that you’d probably kick my ass at.

      For the record, I don’t consider myself particularly weird for liking (loving! (why don’t you marry it? (MAYBE I WILL!))) a genre that doesn’t show up on the best-seller list. You shouldn’t consider yourself weird for digging the types of games that do.

      (As for The Walking Dead, the reason to “play” it is because you want to explore the universe just a little bit more. The “fun” in the game is watching the choices you make and watching how the outcomes change the universe around you. And then going back a second time and realize that, the first time, you only experienced the illusion of choice. As pleasures go, that’s one hell of an acquired taste.)

      All that to say: Love what you love and worry about the tastemakers later. While I’m playing games that you might consider boring, they’re off playing games that would put me to sleep. We can all enjoy our little corners of our hobbies so long as we are down with the whole idea of arguing over which is better is like arguing over which flavors of ice cream are better.Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to Jaybird says:

        I think the problem I keep having is that the pace of the tablet-based games isn’t doing it for me. There are so many of these CofC type games out there right now and yet as soon as I see the screenshots I know they will disappoint me. I’ve managed to find a few tablet-based games that are zippy but the interface doesn’t exactly make them enjoyable in the same was as mastering CofD does for me.

        I realize it’s all subjective but when SO MANY people seem to enjoy a certain genre of game it’s easy to think there’s something wrong with you for not liking it. Similar to the way I seem to feel about Breaking Bad.Report

      • Kimmi in reply to Jaybird says:

        you should try having to code the sports game. Dull, dull, dull.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      If you’ve actually played adventure games (or visual novels), it’s not ADD.

      ADOM is a good RPG if you’re looking for something … a bit different. Certainly not one of those games where you’re just watching movies the whole time.

      What may actually be upsetting you is less of the RPG aspects (System Shock has plenty of those) and more the turn-based dynamics, where instead of it feeling “natural” it lets you sit on your heels and calculate how to win.Report

      • Mike Dwyer in reply to Kimmi says:

        I don’t mind having to think a bit – the Batman games require some of that. And even a FPS often force you to play through a section a few times to figure out the right tactic. I think ultimately though I need what Jaybird refers to as fast-twitch. Getting through a game and knowing I made it because…I made the best choices…is unsatisfying to the way I like to play.Report

  5. Damon says:

    When I fly I do one or both of the following: reading books…yes real books, not e readers, or I watch the movies. Last trip to j-burg I saw all the Harry Potter movies and read a way.Report

  6. Will Truman says:

    I actually purchased a copy of EA Sports NCAA Football 13 on eBay for the Playstation 3.

    I don’t actually have a Playstation 3, but since they stopped making the NCAA series, I figured that if I ever want to play that game, I should go ahead and get it while I still can.

    So at some point I am going to go ahead and get the PS3, even though it’s already outdated. I still love the N64, so I’m not too worried about that. Might be able to get a lot of games for cheap.

    I just wish Playstation had backwards compatibility, so that I could play Bushido Blade 2. That was an awesome game.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

      I don’t really understand the failure to include backwards compatibility anymore. (Well, it’s not like they really ever included it excepting for the PS2 back to the PS1…)

      But if the PS4 was compatible with the PS3, I would have bought one by now. As it is, I’m probably going to wait for Cyberpunk 2077.Report