Samuel McConnell

Games commentator

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.

Though he spends a great deal of his time at his day job helping people with their computer troubles, he carves out as much time as he can to play video or board games, or to tinker with his home cinema.

Labels that apply to Samuel: Gamer, nerd, geek, techie, trekkie, whovian, cinephile.

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Commentary
6:30 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Turn These Characters Into REAL Action Figures

Credit Samuel McConnell / KMUW

“Toys to Life” is a relatively new genre of video game that lets you take physical toys and play with them inside a video game.

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Commentary
10:33 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Your Move: Holiday Releases

Kevin Spacey in 'Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare'

The holiday season is always big for entertainment. Lots of big movies come out, and video games, too.

The new entry in the Call of Duty series, Advanced Warfare, came out earlier this month. The series is best known for its multiplayer, but I really enjoyed the single player campaign. The story wasn’t overly complex, but it was compelling, not unlike a big Hollywood action movie. The appearance of Kevin Spacey as a villain in the vein of his character in "House of Cards" was a pleasant surprise.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Be A Superhero With A Roll Of The Dice

Credit dicemasters.com

I used to be really into collectable card games like Pokemon, or Magic: The Gathering, but there came a point where I felt like they became too complicated and the cards became too expensive.

Lately, I've been playing a new collectable dice game. It’s called Dice Masters, and, to me, it is just as much fun, but doesn’t cost nearly as much.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

A Little Box With A Big Punch

Credit Raj Deut (rdeut) / Flickr / Creative Commons

Last week, Sony quietly released a brand-new gaming console. Sort of.

It’s called the Playstation TV, and, at its heart, it's a Playstation Vita - Sony’s portable console from 2012 – but without the screen or buttons. Instead, it plugs into any HDTV and uses a PlayStation 3 or 4 controller for gameplay.

The system is tiny - about the size of a deck of cards - and it easily tucks away behind a TV or entertainment center.

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Commentary
12:27 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

New 'Smash Bros.' Is Even Better Than Expected

  The Super Smash Bros. series has always been one of my favorites. When the original came out for the Nintendo 64 in 1999, I discovered it at Blockbuster Video and rented it at least a dozen times. Thirteen years ago, I stood outside a Gamestop all night in line to get Super Smash Brothers Melee for the then newly released Nintendo Gamecube, and I played it with three of my friends until after the sun came up.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Lie To Your Friends For Fun And Profit

'Fibbage' screenshot by Samuel McConnell

I spend a lot of my gaming time playing blockbusters like Destiny or Mass Effect, but games don’t have to have flashy graphics and epic storylines to grab my attention. Sometimes, all I need is a fun concept and a way to play with friends.

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Commentary
12:20 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Your Move: The ESPN Of Video Games

Credit Hugo Phan

A few weeks ago, news broke that Amazon.com was buying a website named Twitch.tv for nearly a billion dollars. When I told some of my coworkers about the deal, the most common reaction I got was, “Huh? What’s Twitch?”

Twitch is a website that lets gamers stream a video of their gameplay over the internet. At any given time, there are tens of thousands of people watching gamers on Twitch, and nearly 45 million viewers per month. In fact, Twitch has more prime-time viewers than many cable networks.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

These Games Could Teach You A Thing Or Two

An 'Oregon Trail' player meets an untimely demise
Credit fleur-design / Flickr / Creative Commons

Now that school is starting, kids are hopefully scaling back on video games and spending some time studying. But some of my favorite games of all time I actually was exposed to through school, and were fun enough to disguise the fact that I could actually be learning through gameplay.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Are We Mice? (Yes. Really Tough Mice.)

Samuel McConnell KMUW

I really enjoy playing tabletop RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, but I rarely get around to playing them.

When I was younger, I played weekly. But now I play with people who are in their 30s and 40s. You need to schedule an entire evening or even a whole day around playing the game, and finding a day that everyone can come over without having to hire babysitters or take time off of work... well, if it happens once a year I consider myself lucky.

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Commentary
12:30 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Game Developer Gets Ambitious With 'Destiny'

Normally, gamers who are excited for an upcoming blockbuster title have to wait until the game’s release date to get a good taste of it. However, with the upcoming game Destiny, gamers had a whole week to play, even though it’s not released until September.

Destiny is a first-person shooter, developed by Bungie, which is best known for the Halo series. In the Destiny beta test, you get to play the first bit of the game, exploring a part of Russia that is under enemy control.

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