gs.jpgSitting around the Xbox telling horror stories of trips to GameStop is a regular experience for the MTV.com Video Games team in my four-person office. As is the tradition amongst gamers throughout the world (they have stores in sixteen countries), complaining about the nation's most prevalent gaming retailer is almost guaranteed given the chain's tendency for sub par service by "know-it-all" fanboys.

I too have had many stories to tell, the worst of which happened on a recent trip to purchase "Beautiful Katamari," but instead of a story of frustration and defeat my story is one of triumph, and satisfaction. Sadly that is not the norm with this store, but hopefully we can make a difference by showing you how to turn a GameStop negative into a positive worth $25.

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The picture above is proof that video games are everywhere. Even at the airport and even in our hotel room there was a pretty amazing set up. Each TV had what looked very similar to an N64 controller hooked up to it. If one felt so inclined, they could order a video game via the hotel’s on-screen menu and get some gaming time in with “all the hottest N64 games,” which offered about 30 titles, including Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask, as well as Mario Party 3. It’s a great idea for parents with kids who have a bad addiction. There were a couple catches. 1. They were N64 games. 2. It cost about $8 an hour. 3. You couldn’t save your game. 4. There was only one controller, so you better hope you only have one kid, because that’s a fight just waiting to happen...

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No one can deny that blogs are the place to be for up-to-the-minute gaming news. With the re-launch of our own blog, we wanted to pay homage to some of our blogger brethren, and let you know some of the best places to find your of the daily video game news fix around the web.

The rundown:
Kotaku
Joystiq
Destructoid
GayGamer
Multiplayer
MaxConsole
GoNintendo
Matt Casamassina's on IGN
Major Nelson
PlayStation.Blog

Did we miss your favorite? Let us know.

Head to The Dime's page for more info on each of the blogs

mutliplayer_news.jpgIn addition to the relaunch of our beloved Gamedrop Blog, MTV News’ own gaming aficionado Stephen Totilo has relauched his blog, Multiplayer. Hit it up for everything that’s going on in the gaming news world:

"From PlayStation to Wii. From Xbox Live to “World of Warcraft.” From “Grand Theft Auto” to “Grim Grimoire.” No matter what your tastes are, if video games are your thing then MTV News’ Multiplayer blog is for you. This is the place for us to talk about our adventures in games, to share our thoughts on living a gaming life and to get everyone — from gamers to game makers — on the same page. Dig in!"

So when the collector in me sees game rooms like this (and this) it really makes me question my commitment. I fully understand that I, in fact, do have a life, and other things that I have to spend money on than video games. At least that's what I tell myself, because, frankly, I'm jealous... very, very, very jealous.

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Okay, so I have problems. Number one: I?m a nerd. Number two: I collect things. Number three: I try to do my best to be creative when combining the first two things. Case in point: when the opportunity arises for me to have a few minutes with the creator of one of my all-time favorite video games, I seize it and then go the extra mile.

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I collect a lot of things -- mostly NES games -- but a variety of other systems' games as well, in addition to DVDs, CDs, video game-related toys, some comic books, and so on and so forth. Because of these collections, I have a certain affinity for shelf space. However, as awesome as these DIY Tetris shelves above are, they just aren?t functional enough for today?s modern-day collector. But they're still pretty cool. Find out how to build them yourself (if you?re into that kind of thing).

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I always thought Lara Croft and Hitman would make a cute couple, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Famed MTV video games journalist Stephen Totilo is in need of a bit of help putting a gaming twist on his upcoming wedding reception. At the suggestion of his future wife, they have decided to name all their tables after locations in video games. Hit the jump for the list as it stands right now, but they need about six more. Any suggestions are completely welcome.

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Who doesn't love taxidermy? I friggin' don't, that's who. And it's not because I'm a giiiiirl or because I loooooove animals. No, I just have a problem with touching DEAD THINGS. Especially when I'm trying to play World of Warcraft or something. (And just look at the LED light glowing inside it as if it were its life force. So sad.) A member of how-to Web community Instructables made a mouse out of a real mouse. Why? Just because. Click the link below to see how, but beware: It's not for the faint of heart.

Mouse Mouse! [Instructables]

[via Gizmodo]

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I just got my ticket the other day. I'm going to the circus.

By circus, of course, I mean E3. This year, E3 is invite-only, as compared to last year's event where you needed, say, a pulse to get in. Game companies finally tired of the huge crowds, the excessive expenditures on booths to show off their games, and the general uselessness of E3's show floor. So instead of a mass gathering of game store clerks with T-shirts designed to show off this year's newest bulge, E3 has morphed into something a little more cozy, a little more intimate.

"Welcome to the E3 Media & Business Summit," the E3 Web site reads,  "an exclusive, invitation-only, three-day event which offers the opportunity for both ESA members and non-members to stage major press events, and to have personal meetings in hotel suites and meeting rooms with media, retailers, developer partners, and other key industry contacts. In addition, [Santa Monica's] Barker Hangar will be converted into a software showcase where attendees will be able to casually test drive featured video games outside of the companies? suites."

So, basically, everyone is going to have to shuttle back and forth between this hangar and various hotel rooms in Santa Monica. One of my friends, who happens to write for the very fine game-related publication EGM describes this as "a train wreck ready to happen."

And, may the the good lord Luigi have mercy on my soul, but I think he's right.

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