Operation Supply Drop Launches The Indie Ammo Box

August 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Military-focused video game charity Operation Supply Drop has announced The Indie Ammo Box, a digital online store that will offer specially created "name your price" indie video game bundles and an assortment of individual games for sale.

All of the proceeds from this special storefront will go towards building care packages filled with video game software, equipment, and accessories for U.S. military personnel stationed overseas and those recovering from combat injuries in military hospitals around the world.

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PSA: Operation Supply Drop's '8-Bit Salute' This Weekend

May 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Military-focused video game charity Operation Supply Drop will host its annual "8-Bit Salute" charity gaming marathon event this weekend (May 17-18). Donations raised during this year's charity event will fund video game care packages to U.S. military personal deployed in combat zones such as Afghanistan and those recovering in military hospitals.

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Operation Supply Drop Invades PAX East

April 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Military-focused video game charity Operation Supply Drop will be at PAX East in Boston April 11 - 13 for a variety of activities in support of its ongoing charitable efforts. First and foremost, the group will be signing up teams for its charity gaming marathon, 8-Bit Salute.

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Operation Supply Drop Forms Board of Directors

April 8, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Military-focused video game charity Operation Supply Drop today announced the creation of a board of advisors made up of video games industry veterans and former military personnel to support its "rapid expansion and increase the total number of charitable activities it pursues."

The group has also named Glenn “Commander” Banton, Sr. as the Chairman of the Board. He will continue to serve as the group's Chief Marketing Officer.

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Video Game Industry Teams Up With Operation Supply Drop for '8-Bit Salute' Fundraiser

March 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Military-focused gaming charity Operation Supply Drop has announced that its third annual fundraising event, the 8-Bit Salute, will take place May 17 - 18, 2014. Funds and donations raised by Operation Supply Drop during the 24-hour gaming marathon will be used to deliver video game to troops in Afghanistan as well as various recovery centers across the country.

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Gamers for Giving 2014 Event Generates $20k for Charity

February 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Through a combination of attendee entry fees, donations it received on-site, Peggle 2 entries, PayPal donations and excess sponsorship, Gamers Outreach announced that it managed to raise a total of $20,682.37 for game-related charities at its annual event - Gamers for Giving 2014 - that took place this weekend. According to statistics the group shared, it raised $12,970.00 from online registration and donations; $5,510.00 from raffle ticket sales, Peggle, door sales, and on-site donations; and $2,202.37 from stream donations, mail-in donations, and excess sponsorships.

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Origin Story: Operation Supply Drop

December 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Yesterday Polygon wrote an excellent article detailing the back story on Operation Supply Drop, the military focused gaming charity that sends video game-related care packages to soldiers deployed in combat zones around the world and recovering in military hospitals.

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Operation Supply Drop Delivers Post-Surgery Surprise to Suicide Bomb Survivor

November 8, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Military-related gaming charity Operation Supply Drop passed along an inspirational story this afternoon about a suicide bomb survivor who received a special post-surgery surprise from the group.

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Operation Supply Drop Doubles Goal for 4th of July Video Game Packages

July 2, 2013 -

Operation Supply Drop was hoping to raise $12,000 in video game systems, gear and games for six care packages. Five of these packages will be sent to soldiers deployed in combat zones, while a sixth package will be sent to Walter Reed military hospitals. This fundraising drive, codenamed "PIXEL FIREWORKS," is already a huge success, bringing in almost double what was needed with several days left to go. For this particular initiative the charity has raised right around $24,736.

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Wargaming.net Celebrates National Military Appreciation Month with Charity Drive

May 1, 2013 -

For the second year in a row, World of Tanks maker Wargaming.net will celebrate "National Military Appreciation Month" by donating revenue from select in-app purchases to three charities: AMVETS, Homes For Our Troops, and Military Families Fund. The donations will come from the sale of special bundles available to players throughout the month of May, with 10 percent of the proceeds from those sales divided up among the charities.

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Taliban: Prince Harry has 'Mental Problems' for Comparing Video Games to War

January 23, 2013 -

The Taliban apparently doesn't like England's Prince Harry. Big shock there, right? But the group accused of various attacks against U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan and other activities in Pakistan says that Prince Harry has a mental illness. Prince Harry returned from a four-month deployment in Afghanistan Monday, and has been conducting a series of interviews with the British press.

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Gamers For Giving 2013 Registration Opens

January 4, 2013 -

Gamers Outreach passed along word that registration for the Gamers For Giving 2013 LAN event is now open at lanfest.intel.com/gamers-outreach. The event will take place on February 16th and 17th at the EMU Student Center (900 Oakwood Street) in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The event is a collaboration between Gamers Outreach, the Intel LANFest series, and the student government of Eastern Michigan University.

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TEDx EMU: Video Games - Helping Others Level Up Talk

April 17, 2012 -

We like the work that the fine folks at Gamers Outreach does for the benefit of U.S. military personnel deployed overseas, so it makes sense that we share a recent TEDx EMU talk delivered by Zach Wigal entitled "Video Games - Helping Others Level Up." Zach writes about his experience delivering the presentation on his web site.

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U.S. Army Uses Strategy Game to Teach Cultural Awareness

October 13, 2011 -

The United States Army is testing a new PC strategy game that teaches captains who are being deployed to Afghanistan how to think like local village elders do. The game is called CultureShock: Afghanistan and is being tested at the U.S. Army Engineer School via the captains’ career course at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The purpose of the game, according to its creators is to teach cultural awareness and to show officers what drives the decision making process of local leaders whom U.S. forces will have to encounter and communicate with.

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Operation Supply Drop Sends Biggest Game Supply Drop Yet to Troops in Afghanistan

October 7, 2011 -

Operation Supply Drop's latest supply drop for U.S. servicemen and women stationed in Afghanistan is a rousing success. What started out as a request for a console and some games ended with two boxes totaling 93 lbs. packed with all kinds of donated goodies being sent to Northern Afghanistan.

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Project Reality Mod Plans Event for Help for Heroes Charity

August 22, 2011 -

PR CON, a multiplayer LAN gaming event to raise funds for the charity Help for Heroes, will be held at Rivermead Leisure Complex in Reading, England September 17th and 18th. The event is being put on by the creators of the popular Battlefield 2 multiplayer modification, Project Reality. Several of the mod's members of the team have military backgrounds in the armed services, so raising much-needed funds for the Help for Heroes charity is important to them.

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Gamers Outreach Foundation Plans Memorial Day Charity Event

May 23, 2011 -

To celebrate the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend Gamers Outreach Foundation will host a 24-hour game-a-thon charity with the proceeds going towards entertainment products for troops deployed overseas. Gamers Outreach Foundation has teamed up with The Game Fanatics to offer a cool way for gamers to show appreciation to the military. The Game Fanatics is supporting the Gamers Outreach Foundation’s military division (Fun for Our Troops). Money raised through the fundraiser will go towards a portable gaming kiosk that will be donated to the Dallas Veteran's Affairs Medical Center in Dallas, TX. Gamers can also donate games and consoles to GOF.

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Theorist: Games Part of Plan to Turn People into Blind Followers

June 29, 2010 -

A Canadian researcher (and conspiracy theorist), who focuses on the “causative forces behind major changes in historical development” and believes that culture is “created and altered by those in control, always to lead the people like sheep into the next pasture,” believes that videogames, of course, are a part of this process.

Alan Watt has written a series of books on the subject and operates a website entitled Cutting Through the Matrix. In a YouTube video, Watts says about humanity, “The average person is so out of touch, so incredibly out of touch, with the only true reality there is, that it’s a different world all together. They cannot tell fact from fiction anymore.”

On entertainment in general he offers, “You cannot be entertained today and enjoy it. If you watch any of these movies… as soon as you’ve identified with these characters, you’ve lost it and you’ve been indoctrinated. They are downloading into you.”

Time Spent Playing Videogames Pays Off for Drone Pilots

June 7, 2010 -

Following last week’s story in which a United Nations investigator called for a ban on the use of CIA drone strikes on suspected Islamic militants in response to fears that such activities could lead to a “PlayStation mentality,” a reporter from the UK’s channel 4 visited an Arizona army base where members of the military are trained to use the unmanned aircraft.

At Fort Huachuca, reporter Sara Smith initially noted that, “You can teach almost anyone to use a joystick and fly these drones.” After stating that many young enlisted soldiers—as young as 18 years old—are being trained to pilot the drones, Smith talked to Staff Sergeant Brian Martin who said, “We like to use the younger generation because they’ve been playing the videogames, so they kind of have that mental capacity and their brain is already setup to think that way.”

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U.N. Investigator Condemns Drone Attacks, Fears “Playstation” Mentality

June 2, 2010 -

A United Nations Investigator has called for the cessation of CIA-directed drone strikes on suspected Islamic militants, warning that such remote killings could lead to a “PlayStation” mentality.

Philip Alston, a "U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions," believes that drone attacks should only be carried out if circumstances make it impossible to capture a suspect alive and, if drone strikes do need to be used, only regular U.S. Army personnel, armed with “proper oversight and respect for the rules of war,” should control the craft, according to a Reuters report.

Alston, who will present his opinion to the U.N. Human Rights Council tomorrow, stated:

Because operators are based thousands of miles away from the battlefield, and undertake operations entirely through computer screens and remote audio-feed, there is a risk of developing a 'Playstation' mentality to killing.

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Iraq War Vet, Halo Gamer Succumbs to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

September 1, 2009 -

…another in an occasional series of reports about gamers who gave their all:

Jacob Blaylock wasn't killed during his tour in Iraq, but a pair of his close buddies were. After he rotated back home, Blaylock, like so many other combat veterans, struggled with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In a moving report, the Indianapolis Star chronicles Blaylock's troubles and eventual suicide:

Blaylock was known as a more than competent soldier in Iraq, a popular guy who smoked three packs of Marlboros a day and played the video game "Halo" to relax between the many missions logged.

After his death, family members came across a blog entry written by Blaylock:

I am well past gone. I don't care what anyone says, cause they just don't know. They don't understand, and I can't expect them to. I want to remember. I want peace. I want to be happy. All I want to do is live.

The New York Times has a much more detailed report on Blaylock's downward spiral, including gut-wrenching video footage.

GP: Why do we cover these stories? Because this generation of gamers has suffered war like none before it. We hope to honor their sacrifice.

27 comments

Fallen Soldier's Dad Promises They Will Play CoD Again One Day

August 23, 2009 -

British Private Richard Hunt made the ultimate sacrifice last week when his company was struck by an explosive device while on patrol in Afghanistan.

During a well-attended ceremony back home in Monmouthshire on what would have been the fallen soldier's 22nd birthday, Private Hunt's father, Phillip, commemorated the time they spent together playing Call of Duty: World at War.

Along with flowers and other items, a copy of the game was laid at the site of the memorial service. A handwritten not attached to the game read:

Happy Birthday 'Hunty'. Play you again one day. Dad.

Via: BBC

32 comments

Another Protest Planned for Army's Video Game Recruitment Center

August 5, 2009 -

In May, GamePolitics provided live coverage of a protest march against the Army Experience Center in Philadelphia. The high-tech recruitment facility employs fast gaming PCs and Xbox 360s as a means of attracting potential recruits.

Seven demonstrators were arrested at the May protest.

It now appears that a second protest at the Army Experience Center is in the planning stages. Details of an action scheduled for September 12th are posted at Shut Down the Army Experience Center.

While the May protest appeared to be coordinated with local authorities, who escorted demonstrators along their line of march, the upcoming event looks to have a more chaotic flavor. From the protest website:

This time, demonstrators are being encouraged to form small affinity groups and enter the mall through one of several locations. Protesters are encouraged to express their outrage in creative, nonviolent ways.
 
At 2:00 pm people will come out of the woodwork and converge on the Army Experience Center.  Organizers feel it may not be wise for participants to congregate into large groups before the demonstration or wear clothing that would suggest participation in the protest... 

33 comments

Would-be Game Designer Lost in Afghanistan

August 5, 2009 -

….another in an occasional series of reports about gamers who gave their all:

A U.S. Army soldier killed in Afghanistan last month was a lifelong gamer, reports the Washington Post.

Army Spec. Anthony Lightfoot, 20, of Riverdale, Georgia died along with three comrades in a roadside attack on July 20th in Wardak Province.

According to his family, Lightfoot beat Mario Bros. as a small child and hoped to become a game designer some day:

He was a video game devotee who beat a Mario Bros. game at age 4 and never looked back, his brother said. "Ever since then, you couldn't move him from the TV," his brother said. "Everything he touched he tried to master, and that was an awesome quality about him."

Lightfoot's passion for video games grew into a desire to study animation and design a game. He drew a lot as a youngster and befriended other fans of Japanese animation and video games.

"He was always happy to meet people, befriend people and help people," his brother said. "He was a giving person."

Spec. Lightfoot was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on Tuesday.

GP: Rest in peace, Anthony...

8 comments

New Site for Gamers in the Military Drafts Well-known Writer

August 5, 2009 -

As GamePolitics has often noted, a large cross-section of U.S. military personnel are gamers.

A new website, StripesGAMER, hopes to cater to those gamers in uniform. The site, a partnership between Consumer Solutions Gaming, LLC and the military's famed Stars and Stripes newspaper, calls itself "the independent daily news source for the global U.S. military community."

Now, reinforcements have arrived for StripesGAMER with this morning's announcement that Scott Steinberg has been recruited as an ongoing guest columnist. Consumer Solutions Gaming CEO Terry Tognietti comments on StripesGAMER's new squad mate:

Scott’s expertise and knowledge in this realm is a major asset for StripesGAMER.com. Our goal is to be the go-to source for gamers in the armed forces who can’t access mainstream industry news and information as easily as normal consumers, or who don’t have the time to visit multiple gaming sites, so the insight and commentary he brings our audience is indisputably valuable to us and our site’s members.


Army Robot Has Video Games and Vacuum Cleaner in its Family Tree

July 22, 2009 -

At the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, the U.S. Army is testing robotic weapon systems, the origins of which can be traced back to the Xbox 360 and the Roomba vacuum cleaner, reports nextgov:

Spec. Ronald Wagle is a 23-year-old video gamer turned grunt... The handheld gizmo he uses to control a robot "is almost exactly the same as an Xbox [360] controller," he said.

Wagle uses the controller to deftly steer the robot, whose camera-equipped head gives it more than a passing resemblance to the R2-D2 robot in Star Wars, to check buildings in the village for weapons, including trip wires that could set off an improvised explosive device.

The robot, built by iRobot Corp., the same company that makes the Roomba vacuum cleaner, features cameras that can see in daylight and dark, has flexible treads that allow it to climb stairs, and radio links...

GP: Note the Xbox 360 controller carried by the soldier in the picture at left. More info on the Army's SUGV program is available on Wikipedia.

6 comments

New Online Gaming Network is For Military Types Only

July 6, 2009 -

There are many gamers serving with U.S. armed forces around the globe and a new online gaming network aims to help them enjoy their down time by gaming online.

As reported by Shacknews, the Military Online Gaming program is being offered by Pro vs GI Joe, a non-profit best known for facilitating online game competitions between troops and athletes. The new network is powered by the GGL Global Gaming platform.

MOG launched over the July 4th weekend with a Call of Duty: WaW tournament between military personnel and members of the Atlanta Falcons. Pro vs GI Joe founder Greg Zinone commented:

We created the MOG exclusively for the hundreds of thousands of military gamers around the world, to serve as a virtual connection among branches and bases, during deployments, and as a source of entertainment. Our partnership with the USO allows troops to play wherever they are serving.

The Xbox 360 will be supported initially as it is apparently the gaming weapon of choice for most military gamers.

Via: Joystiq

6 comments

Xbox Live's Major Nelson Visiting Troops in Baghdad

June 13, 2009 -

Larry Hyrb, aka Major Nelson, is currently in Baghdad.

The Director of Programming for Xbox Live tipped readers to the surprise 10-day trip in a blog post on June 7th:

I am a few hours away from stepping on a plane for the first leg of my journey to Baghdad, Iraq for the Iroq-Band competition taking place next week. I am honored to be asked to support the event, and I am looking forward to meeting many of service men and women that are Xbox LIVE members...

 

With all of the travel and security involved in this trip, my online time... will be extremely limited... I want to warn you that I’ll be unusually quiet (which I am sure won’t bother some of you) during my radio silence. 

Major Nelson arrived in Iraq on Wednesday. Despite the heavy security of a war zone, he has been providing numerous updates via Twitter. Some of his recent tweets give the flavor of the experience:

It takes you back when the staff where we are staying have sidearms and automatic weapons.

 

Taking a scenic tour of downtown Baghdad aboard a Blackhawk heli.

 

Apparently I slept through a mortar attack last night. No one was injured.

 

Seems like Xbox 360 is everywhere on this base. The only thing they don't have is LIVE due to the poor connectivity.

 

Most popular games on the base? Rock Band, Halo, COD (any of 'em) and all sports games.

The pic at left is from the Major's ride-along with a Blackhawk sortie over Baghdad.

7 comments

On Memorial Day, Saluting Gamers in Uniform

May 25, 2009 -

It is a Memorial Day tradition here at GamePolitics to pay tribute to the many gamers who serve our country as part of the armed forces.

Putting the politics of war aside, it's simply a fact that the current generation of military personnel is inextricably linked to the gamer generation.

Today we are reminded of people like Dan Rosenthal, an Iraq War veteran who edits the excellent gameslaw.net blog and Stefanie Doctor Shea, who, after her husband Sgt. Michael Shea was deployed to Iraq, founded Fun For Our Troops. The non-profit organization collects video games for use by our military personnel overseas.

But mostly we think of those soldier/gamers who gave their all.

Army Specialist Stephen Fortunato hoped to design video games one day. A roadside bomb in Iraq ended that dream. Another IED took the life of Specialist Kyle Norris. PFC Tan Quoc Ngo enjoyed GTA and Halo. Sgt. Shane Duffy loved Rock Band; Senator John Kerry spoke of Shane's intense virtual guitar work at his funeral.

Today, let's remember the sacrifices of all of our military personnel.

PICTURED AT LEFT: (clockwise) PFC Tan Quoc Ngo, Specialist Stephen Fortunato, Specialist Kyle Norris, Sgt. Shane Duffy

UPDATE: Tech Bytes reports on a Google Earth tribute to fallen soldiers.

8 comments

Controlling Navy's Anti-terrorist Weapon System Comes Easily to Gamers

May 20, 2009 -

The U.S. Navy is equipping some of its vessels with Israeli-made Mini-Typhoon 12.7mm remotely controlled machine-guns.

The 370-pound system, which can be fired by an operator in a remote location, holds 230 rounds, sufficient for 25 seconds of rat-tat-tat. Strategy Page notes that the weapon is an effective defense against small boats such as those used by suicide bombers.

So, who might the Navy turn to for Mini-Typhoon duty? Gamers, reports Strategy Page:

The Mini-Typhoon uses a day/night vidcam and a stabilizer. The remote operator has an automatic target tracker, and can easily hit small boats two kilometers away... Operators with video game experience can be quickly trained to operate the weapon.

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Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenObviously, the picture was created by someone who doesn't understand what the issue actually is (or, possibly, someone trying to satire said misunderstanding).09/01/2014 - 4:10pm
Papa MidnightPeople fear and attack what they do not understand.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
Papa MidnightWell, let's not forget. Someone held their hand in a peace sign a few weeks ago and people started claiming it was a gang sign. Or a police chief displayed the hand signal of their fraternity and was accused of the same.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
SleakerEither people don't understand that what the picture is saying is true, or the picture was created out of a misunderstanding of what sexism is.09/01/2014 - 3:52pm
Sleaker@AE ok yah that's where the kind of confusion I'm getting. Your tweet can be taken to mean two different things.09/01/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - No. No, not even remotely. The pic attached to my tweet was not made by me; it's not a statement I'm making. It's an illustration of the complete misunderstanding of the issue my tweet is referring to.09/01/2014 - 3:13pm
Papa MidnightIn other news, Netflix states why it paid Comcast: http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/technology/netflix-comcast/index.html?hpt=hp_t209/01/2014 - 3:10pm
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen: Sites like Tumblr make things seem much bigger than they are. A vocal extreme minority start complaining and things go as they do.09/01/2014 - 3:09pm
SleakerAre you trying saying that specific costumes are sexist simply by being included in the game?09/01/2014 - 3:03pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Seems completely cut and dry to me (of course, I wrote it so that's not surprising). What about it do you find confusing?09/01/2014 - 2:25pm
 

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