Hello and welcome to the third edition of the "Carnival of Video Game Bloggers". This month's edition is being guest hosted here at the Sodaware blog, the blog of an indie developer. If this is your first time here, why not check out a list of the best articles that have been written?
Regardless of whether you're new to the site or a regular reader, you're sure to find something great to read in this feature packed carnival, so let's get started!
You stand at the entrance to what appears to be a traveling carnival. A sign above the gate reads "The Carnival of Video Game Bloggers", which strikes you as somewhat odd. You hear a strange tune in the distance, and your senses are almost overwhelmed by the barrage of lights and lasers. You can go north.
> Go North
You are greeted by a shady looking gentleman wearing a long black robe and a top hat. On closer inspection you see his nametag, but before you can say anything he introduces himself.
"I am James Newton, the Grand Master of this Carnival. We gather the finest game bloggers from around the World and force them to write articles until their fingers fall off! Mwuahahaha!"
After a few minutes of evil laughs, he clears his throat.
"Sorry about that old bean, just a silly little joke I like to play. Please look around and talk to these fine folks, as they have many pearls of wisdom to share with you. Before you go, please read 'My Personal Journey of Dreams'."
He hands you the book, but before you can thank him he lets out a blood-curdling cry of "WA-HA" and disappears in a cloud of red and purple smoke. How very strange. You can go west, east and south.
> Go South
You cannot escape the carnival!
> Go West
Life is peaceful there.
As you look around, you see a booth containing a gallery of paintings that seem to move. The sign "Fantendo" hangs at the top, and as you stare at the paintings you are approached by Jordan Bieber.
"Wii Want Wiimakes" he says, waving what appears to be a white remote around. You step back in case it is some form of magic wand.
"The Wii is a powerful system" he continues "and many great GameCube games would work even better with the advanced controls that the Wii provides". He motions towards some of the paintings, which have titles such as "F Zero GX", "Beyond Good & Evil" and "Pikmin". As he waves his wand, the pictures appear to react! You should escape before this sorcery affects you too! You can go east or south.
> Go East
Stephen W is manning a stall named "Project Paradox", which features a game involving throwing hoops over bottles. The hoops appear to get smaller as they approach the bottles, which is somewhat disconcerting.
"Roll up, roll up!" he calls "Win a great prize for that special person! After all, Nothing Says 'I Love You' Like an Epic Mount!"
As you peruse the stand, you realise that the mounts are indeed epic. You can go east or south.
> Go South
You are at a food stand named "SharpBrains", manned by Alvaro Fernandez. There is an array of snacks, ranging from hotdogs to cotton candy and some strange dishes you have never seen before. One of the hotdogs looks like a finger.
"Get your brain food!" cries Alvaro "There's lots to choose from!"
"This one is named 'Training the brain with a computer workout program: MindFit'. Eating this will give you the knowledge of computer games that can train your brain" he moves to the next dish - "Brain Exercise FAQs will give you more knowledge about brain exercises from video games, and will help you strengthen your brain."
He points at the third dish "And finally, this dish will impart the knowledge of a Brain Essay Contest for High School Students. You should tell everyone about this!"
The food looks delicious, but your appetite seems to have departed since you entered this carnival. You can go north or east.
> Go East
Jimmy Atkinson, caretaker of the Online Education Database, is standing guard in front of a huge black obelisk. The obelisk reaches so high that it appears to touch the moon itself. Strange marks cover the surface, and it seems to gently glow in the darkness.
He whispers to you "This is 'The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Degrees and Careers'. It contains an endless amount of knowledge on obtaining a video game degree or career".
You stand in awe for several minutes, before gathering your thoughts and moving on. You can go west or south.
> Go South
You walk into a bar. OUCH! You shake your head, before walking into what appears to be a small tavern. "Taverns aren't normally found at carnivals" you think to yourself. As if by magic, the sign above the tavern change to "This is no ordinary carnival".
Many people are inside, chatting and laughing about all kinds of subjects.
The mysterious wizard jai from the realm of GAMEBLOGGER sits at a table, summoning small dragons and other mystical creatures. The dragon blows smoke and flame, and scorches the words "GAMEBLOGGER: March 2007" onto the table.
The scholar Ybother from TodaysTen.com is stood on the table at the center of the room, and is singing 10 Fun Things to do in Second Life. People around the table are clapping and cheering at these tales.
The bartender dries a glass, as Mon Macutay from GM Tristan Online: Gaming and MMORPGs talks about Sex in Video Games, and why developers, users and cultures use sexual innuendoes in game design and culture". The bartender nods in agreement, before beckoning you to drink. You decline. You can go west.
> Go West
Jigsaw hc guards the entrance to "Rants & Reviews", which appears to be an impossible maze that defies the laws of space and time. You step inside…
Your pulse quickens, and you look up to see what appear to be stairs. As you look, you feel a strange sensation as gravity appears to shift. You close your eyes, and when you open them again you are walking on the ceiling! The floor has many strange markings on it, but as your vision clears several phrases appear. They read "Tony Hawk Project 8 Review". "Tetris Evolution Review" and "Desktop Tower Defense Review".
Panic and confusion set in, and you open your mouth to call for help. No sound escapes, but instead a butterfly emerges. The words "March Xbox Live Arcade Recap and Review" are emblazoned across its wings. It was a very big butterfly.
You feel your vision failing, as all images blend in to each other in a whirlpool of bright colours. You black out.
> Open eyes
You stand at the entrance to what appears to be a travelling carnival, but only blackness remains where there was once light and sound. There is now only a sign that reads "Submit an article for the next carnival using the carnival submission form, and view past and previous editions at the blog carnival index page".
It is over. You have escaped the carnival!
That's it for this issue. I hope you all enjoyed the adventure, and you can subscribe to the RSS feed for many more thrilling tales!