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History

Namco was founded in Tokyo in 1955, by Masaya Nakamura under the name Nakamura Manufacturing Ltd. It began by producing mechanical rocking-horses and similar children's rides, which were installed in a number of department stores in Yokohama and Nihonbashi. It continued this line of production through the 1960s, and expanded with the addition of rides modeled after Walt Disney characters in 1966.

The company's brand name was changed to Namco in 1971, and acquired the Japanese division of Atari in 1974, thus bringing Namco into the coin-operated video game market. Namco Enterprises Asia Ltd. was established in Hong Kong, soon followed by Namco America, Inc. in California. In 1978, Namco released its first arcade video game Gee Bee which was designed by Toru Iwatani who also designed two sequels Bomb Bee and Cutie Q and later went on to design Pac-Man. 1980 saw the introduction of one of the company's most famous coin-operated arcade games, Pac-Man. The main character, Pac-Man, is now the company's official mascot. When Nintendo began producing its Famicom home console unit, Namco started the development of game titles for it, beginning with Galaxian, which had first been introduced to arcades in 1979.

Namco was the industry's first manufacturer to develop and release a multi-player, multi-cabinet competitive game, Final Lap, in 1987. This game allowed up to 8 players to compete when four 2-player cabinets were linked in a simple network. By 1988, the company's capital exceeded 5,500 million Yen. In 1989, another racing simulation game, Winning Run, was released; that same year, the company's expertise with driving simulation matured with the development of the Eunos Roadster Driving Simulator, a joint venture with the Mazda Motor Corporation, followed by an educational program for traffic safety developed with Mitsubishi.

In the 1990s, Namco began directly selling coin-operated arcade games in the United States through subsidiary Namco America, and expanded their market into Europe with the foundation of Namco Europe, Ltd. in London. Sennichimae Plabo was opened in Osaka, featuring a new concept of large-scale arcade amusement, and Namco Wonder Eggs, a theme park, was opened in Tokyo. Additional amusement parks were opened, including Namco Wonder Park Sagamihara and Namco Wonder City.

In 1993, Namco merged its US arcade operation, Namco Operations, Inc., with the newly acquired Aladdin's Castle, Inc. to form Namco Cybertainment, Incorporated, bringing the company to the forefront as the largest arcade company in the world. In subsequent years, Namco Cybertainment, Inc. (NCI) purchased several other arcade operators, further strengthening the company's overall arcade operation. NCI now operates arcades under the names Time Out, CyberStation, Aladdin's Castle, Diamond Jim's, Space Port, and Pocket Change.

Also in 1993, Ridge Racer, a driving simulation game, entered arcades, featuring 3D computer graphics; the game was later released for the Sony PlayStation. Another of the company's most famous games, Tekken, was released in 1994, which was also soon ported to the PlayStation. Subsidiaries in Germany, France, Spain, and Israel were established, and soon began developing arcade games there. In 1995 the game Soul Edge (Soul Blade in Europe) was released. This was the second game to feature weapons in a three-dimensional fighting environment (Battle Arena Toshinden was the first). With its Tekken and Soul Calibur franchises, Namco has been dominating the 3D fighting game market.

On September 2005, Namco was acquired by Bandai and the two companies merged together to form "Namco Bandai Holdings", the 3rd largest video game entity in Japan. As such, Namco is now a part of the Namco Bandai Group.


This article is about the sport, for a disambiguation on unrelated computer and video games entitled Baseball or similar names, see Baseball (computer game).

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Baseball is a team sport in which a player on one team (the pitcher) attempts to throw a hard, fist-sized ball past a player on the other team (the batter), who attempts to hit the baseball with a tapered, smooth, cylindrical stick called a bat.

A team scores only when batting, by advancing past a series of four markers called bases arranged at the corners of a square. Each base is 90 feet from the previous base.

Baseball is sometimes called hardball to differentiate it from similar games such as softball. It is also called "America's Game", since it was developed in in the United States.

File:Busch Stadium.jpg
A view of the playing field at the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.
File:Fenway park.jpg
Picture of Fenway Park. Part of the "Green Monster" can be seen lurking on the right side of this picture

Baseball is most popular in the Americas and East Asia (although in South America only in the extreme northern portion). In Japan, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Panama, Venezuela, South Korea, and Taiwan, it is one of the most popular sports. In the United States (the birthplace of baseball), baseball has long been regarded as more than just a "major sport" - it is the national pastime and Major League Baseball has been given a unique monopoly status by the U.S. Congress; the total attendance for Major League games is roughly equal to that of all other American professional team sports combined. Among American television viewers, however, baseball has been surpassed in popularity (in terms of television ratings) by American football. Although three of the four most popular sports in North America are ball games (baseball, basketball and American football), baseball's popularity grew so great that the word "ballgame" in the United States usually but not always refers to a game of baseball, and "ballpark" to a baseball field. Of notable exception is in the south, where football is more popular and "ballgame" is used more frequently in association with that sport.

Introduction

Baseball is among the oldest and most popular team sports in the United States. A unique culture surrounds it, which includes the game itself, the field, the players, the ballparks, and the fans. It remains a sport created in and for simpler times, yet is a complex sport that is greater than any one individual, team, or era.

Although the origins and evolution of the various bat-and-ball games are murky, baseball is primarily an American invention. However, many believe that it originated as an adaptation of the game of rounders, and was also influenced by the rules of cricket. As far back as the 1870s, American newspapers were referring to baseball as "The National Pastime" or "The National Game." A substantial part of baseball's appeal is that most of the games take place during the warm, relatively leisurely months of the year, which is why many people refer to baseball players as "The Boys of Summer."

Baseball is a perennial attraction—summarized below in Baseball's unique style—unlike any other mainstream, American sport. Many people believe that baseball is the ultimate combination of skill, timing, athleticism, and strategy. Yogi Berra (a Hall of Fame baseball player) once said: "Baseball is 90% mental—the other half is physical."

The following section on Gameplay provides the rules of game, but the lure of baseball is in its subtleties: situational defense, pitch location, pitch sequence, statistics, ball parks, history, and player personalities. For the avid fan, the game—even during its slowest points—is never boring because of these nuances. Therefore, a full appreciation of baseball naturally requires some knowledge of the rules; it also requires deep observation of those endearing and enduring qualities that give baseball its unique style. Again, in the words of Yogi Berra, "You can observe a lot just by watching."

Gameplay

A simplified version of the rules of baseball is at simplified baseball rules. Also visit www.mlb.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball in the United States, where you can view clips of baseball being played during the baseball season (April-October).

General structure

Baseball is played between two teams of nine players each on a baseball field, under the authority of one or more officials, called umpires. There are usually four umpires in major league games; up to six (and as few as one) may officiate depending on the league and the importance of the game. There are four bases. Numbered counter-clockwise, first, second and third bases are cushions (sometimes informally referred to as bags) shaped as 15 in (38 cm) squares which are raised a short distance above the ground; together with home plate, the fourth "base," they form a square with sides of 90 ft (27.4 m) called the diamond. Home base (plate) is a pentagonal rubber slab known as simply home. The field is divided into two main sections:

-The infield, containing the four bases, is for defensive and conversational purposes bounded by the foul lines and the grass line (see figure). However, the infield technically consists of only the area within and including the bases and foul lines.

-The outfield, which is the grassed area beyond the infield grass line (for general purposes; see above under infield), between the foul lines, and bounded by a wall or fence. Again, there is a technical difference; properly speaking, the outfield consists of all fair ground beyond the square of the infield and its bases. The area between the foul lines, including the foul lines (the foul lines are in fair territory), is fair territory, and the area outside the foul lines is foul territory.

The game is played in nine innings in which each team gets one turn to bat and try to score runs while the other pitches and defends in the field. In baseball, the defense always has the ball -- a fact that differentiates it from most other team sports. The teams switch every time the defending team gets three players of the batting team out. The winner is the team with the most runs after nine innings. In the case of a tie, additional innings are played until one team comes out ahead at the end of an inning (if the visitors are ahead) or in an incomplete inning (if the home team scores to take the lead in its half of an extra inning, the game ends at that point). At the start of the game, all nine players of the home team play the field, while players on the visiting team come to bat one at a time.

File:Baseball swing.jpg
A batter follows through after swinging at a pitched ball.

The basic contest is always between the pitcher for the fielding team, and a batter. The pitcher throws—pitches—the ball towards home plate, where the catcher for the fielding team waits (in a crouched stance) to receive it. Behind the catcher stands the home plate umpire. The batter stands in one of the batter's boxes and tries to hit the ball with a bat. The pitcher must keep one foot in contact with the top or front of the pitcher's rubber—a 24" x 6" (~ 61 cm x 15 cm) plate located atop the pitcher's mound—during the entire pitch, so he can only take one step backward and one forward in delivering the ball. The catcher's job is to receive any ball that the batter misses or does not swing at, and to "call" the game by a series of hand movements that signal to the pitcher what pitch to throw and where. If the pitcher disagrees with the call, he will "shake off" the catcher by shaking his head no; he accepts the sign by nodding. The catcher's role becomes more crucial depending on how the game is going, and how the pitcher responds to a given situation. Each pitch begins a new play, which might consist of nothing more than the pitch itself.

Each half-inning, the goal of the defending team is to get three members of the other team out. A player who is out must leave the field and wait for his next turn at bat. There are many ways to get batters and baserunners out; some of the most common are catching a batted ball in the air, tag outs, force outs, and strikeouts. After the fielding team has put out three players from the opposing team, that half of the inning is over and the team in the field and the team at bat switch places; there is no upper limit to the number that may bat in rotation before three outs are recorded. Going through the entire order in an inning is referred to as "batting around". It is indicative of a high scoring inning. A complete inning consists of each opposing side having a turn (three outs) on offense.

The goal of the team at bat is to score more runs than the opposition; a player may do so only by batting, then becoming a base runner, touching all the bases in order (via one or more plays), and finally touching home plate. To that end, the goal of each batter is to enable baserunners to score or to become a baserunner himself. The batter attempts to hit the ball into fair territory—between the baselines—in such a way that the defending players cannot get them or the baserunners out. In general, the pitcher attempts to prevent this by pitching the ball in such a way that the batter cannot hit it cleanly or, ideally, at all.

A baserunner who successfully touches home plate after touching all previous bases in order scores a run. In an enclosed field, a fair ball hit over the fence on the fly is normally an automatic home run, which entitles the batter and all runners to touch all the bases and score. A home run hit with all bases occupied ('bases loaded') is called a grand slam.

Fielding team

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The team in the field is the defensive team; they attempt to prevent the baserunners from scoring. There are nine defensive positions, however, only two of the positions have a mandatory location (pitcher and catcher), the locations of the other seven fielders is not specified by the rules, except that at the moment the pitch is delivered they must be positioned in fair territory and not in the space between the pitcher and the catcher. These fielders often shift their positioning in response to specific batters or game situations, and they may exchange positions with one another at any time. The nine positions are: pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder. Scorekeepers label each position with a number starting with the pitcher (1), catcher (2), first baseman (3), second baseman (4), third baseman (5), shortstop (6), left fielder (7), center fielder (8), right fielder (9). This convention was established by Henry Chadwick. The reason the shortstop seems out of order has to do with the way fielders positioned themselves in the early years of the game.

The battery

The battery is composed of the pitcher, who stands on the rubber of the mound, and the catcher, who squats behind home plate. These are the two fielders who always deal directly with the batter on every pitch, hence the term "battery", coined by Henry Chadwick and later reinforced by the implied comparison to artillery fire.

The pitcher's main role is to pitch the ball toward home plate with the goal of getting the batter out. Pitchers also play defense by fielding batted balls, covering bases (for a potential tag out or force out on an approaching runner), or backing up throws. The catcher's main role is to receive the pitch if the batter does not hit it. Together with the pitcher and coaches, the catcher plots game strategy by suggesting different pitches and by shifting the starting positions of the other fielders. Catchers are also responsible for defense in the area near home plate.

The infielders

The four infielders are the first baseman, second baseman, shortstop, and third baseman. Originally the first, second and third basemen played very near their respective bases, and the shortstop generally played "in" (hence the term), covering the area between second, third, and the pitchers box, or wherever the game situation required. As the game evolved, the fielding positions changed to the now-familiar "umbrella", with the first and third baseman generally positioned a short distance toward second base from their bases, the second baseman to the right side of second base, and the shortstop playing to the left of second base, as seen from the batter's perspective, filling in the gaps.

The first baseman's job consists largely of making force plays at first base on ground balls hit to the other infielders. When an infielder picks up a ball from the ground hit by the batter, he must throw it to the first baseman before the batter gets to the base for the batter to be out. The first baseman must be able to catch the ball very well. The first baseman also fields balls hit near first base. The first baseman also has to receive throws from the pitcher in order to tag runners out who have reached base safely. The position is less physically challenging than the other positions, but there is still a lot of skill involved. Infielders don't always make good throws to first base, so it is the first baseman's job to field any ball thrown toward him cleanly. Older players who can no longer fulfill the demands of their original positions also often become first basemen. The second baseman covers the area to the right of second base and provides backup for the first baseman in bunt situations. He/She also is a cut-off for the outfield. This is when the outfielder doesn't have to throw the full distance from him/her to the base, but just to the cut-off. The shortstop fills the critical gap between second and third bases—where right-handed batters generally hit ground balls—and also covers second or third base and the near part of left field. This player is also a cut-off for the outfield. This position is the most demanding defensively, so a good shortstop doesn't need to necessarily be a good batter. The third baseman's primary requirement is a strong throwing arm, in order to make the long throw across the infield to the first baseman. Quick reaction time is also important for third basemen, as they tend to see more sharply hit balls than the other infielders.

The outfielders

The three outfielders, left fielder, center fielder, and right fielder, are so named from the catcher's perspective looking out onto the field. The right fielder generally has the strongest arm of all the outfielders due to the need to make throws on runners attempting to take third base. The center fielder has more territory to cover than the corner outfielders, so this player must be quick and agile with a strong arm to throw balls in to the infield; as with the shortstop, teams tend to emphasize defense at this position. Also, the center fielder is considered the outfield leader, and left- and right-fielders often cede to his direction when fielding fly balls. Of all outfielders, the left fielder often has the weakest arm, as they generally do not need to throw the ball as far in order to prevent the advance of any baserunners. The left fielder still requires good fielding and catching skills, and tends to receive more balls than the right fielder due to the fact that right-handed hitters, who are much more common, tend to "pull" the ball into left field. The left fielder also backs up third base on pick-off attempts from the catcher.

Defensive strategy

Pitching
File:Baseball pitching motion 2004.jpg
The typical motion of a pitcher


Effective pitching is vitally important to a baseball team, as pitching is the key for the defensive team to retire batters and to preventing runners from getting on base. A full game usually involves over one hundred pitches thrown by each team. However, most pitchers begin to tire before they reach this point. In previous eras, pitchers would often throw up to four complete games (all nine innings) in a week. With new advances in medical research and thus a better understanding of how the human body functions and tires out, starting pitchers tend more often to throw fractions of a game (typically 6 or 7 innings depending on their performance) about every five days (though a few complete games do still occur each year).

Multiple pitchers are often needed in a single game, including the starting pitcher and relief pitcher(s). Pitchers are substituted for one another like any other player (see below), and the rules do not limit the number of pitchers that can be used in a game; the only limiting factor is the size of the squad, naturally. In general, starting pitchers are not used in relief situations except sometimes during the post-season when every game is vital. If a game runs into many extra innings, a team may well empty its bullpen. If it then becomes necessary to use a "position player" as a pitcher, major league teams generally have certain players pre-designated as emergency relief pitchers, to avoid making a mockery of the game. In baseball's early years, squads were smaller, and relief pitchers were relatively uncommon, with the starter normally remaining for the entire game unless he was either thoroughly ineffective or became injured; today, with a much greater emphasis on pitch count (100 being the "magic number" in general), over the course of a single game each team will frequently use from two to five pitchers. In the 2005 ALCS, all four of the Chicago White Sox victories were complete games by the starters, a highly noteworthy event in the modern game.

Although a pitcher can only take one step backward and one forward while delivering the ball, the pitcher has a great arsenal at his disposal in the variation of location, velocity, movement, and arm location (see types of pitches). Most pitchers attempt to master two or three types of pitches; some pitchers throw up to 6 types of pitches with varying degrees of control. Common pitches include a fastball, which is the ball thrown at just under maximum velocity; a curveball, which is made to curve by rotation imparted by the pitcher; and a change-up, which seeks to mimic the delivery of a fastball but arrives at significantly lower velocity.

To illustrate pitching strategy, consider the "fastball/change-up" combination: The average major-league pitcher can throw a fast ball around 90 miles per hour (145 km/h), and a few pitchers have even exceeded 100 miles per hour (161 km/h). The change-up is thrown somewhere between 75 to 85 miles per hour (121 to 137 km/h). Since the batter's timing is critical to hitting a pitch, a batter swinging to hit what looks like a fast ball, would be terribly fooled (swing and miss, hopefully) when the pitch turns out to be a much slower change-up.

Some pitchers choose to throw using the 'submarine style,' a very efficient sidearm or near-underhand motion. Pitchers with a submarine delivery are often very difficult to hit because of the angle and movement of the ball once released. They cannot generate the amount of power that an overhand delivery can bring, so they depend on placement and keeping the batter "off balance". There are exceptions. Walter Johnson, who threw one of the fastest fast balls in the history of the game, threw sidearm (though not submarine) rather than a normal overhand.

Fielding strategy

Since only the pitcher's and catcher's locations are fixed, the other players on the field move around as needed to defend against scoring a run. Many variations of this are possible, as location depends upon the "situation." "Situation" refers to immediate circumstances of play, and includes: the number of outs, the count (balls and strikes) on the batter, the number and speed of runners, the ability of the fielders, the ability of the pitcher, the type of pitch thrown, the inning, home versus visiting team, and others. As the situation dictates, the fielders move to more strategic locations. Common defensive situations include: playing for the bunt, trying to prevent a stolen base (runner advancing to the next base), moving the defensive to a shallow position to throw out a runner at home, playing at "double play depth", moving fielders to locations where hitters are most likely to hit the ball, etc.

Team at bat

Batters and runners

The ultimate goal of the team at bat is to score runs. To accomplish this feat, the team at bat successively (in an predetermined order called a lineup) sends its nine players to the batter's box (adjacent to home plate) where they become batters. (Each team sets its batting lineup at the beginning of the game. Changes to the lineup are tightly limited by the rules of baseball and must be communicated to the umpires, who have the substitutions announced for the opposing team and fans. See Substitutions below.)

A batter's turn at the plate is called a plate appearance. Batters advance to the bases in a variety of ways: hits, walks, hit-by-pitch, and a few others. When the batter hits a fair ball, he must run to first base, and may continue or stop at any base unless he is put out. A successful hit occurs when the batter reaches a base: reaching only first base is a single; reaching second base, a double; third base, a triple; and hit that allows the batter to touch all bases in order on the same play is a home run, whether or not the ball is hit over the fence. Once a runner is held to a base, he may attempt to advance at any time, but is not required to do so unless the batter or another runner displaces him (called a force play). A batter always drops his bat when running the bases— otherwise, the bat would slow him down and could give rise to a call of interference if it were to contact the ball or a fielder.

Depending on the way the ball comes off the bat, the play has different names. A batted ball is called a fly ball if it was hit in the air in a way causing the fielder to catch it on its descent. A line drive is like a fly ball, but the ball is hit with such force that its trajectory seems level to the ground. A batted ball which is not hit into the air, and which touches the ground within the infield before it can be caught, is called a ground ball. When a ball is hit outside the foul line, it is a foul ball, requiring the batter and all runners to return to their respective bases.

Once the batter and any existing runners have all stopped at a base or been put out, the ball is returned to the pitcher, and the next batter comes to the plate. After the opposing team bats in its own order and three more outs are recorded, the first team's batting order will continue again from where it left off.

When a runner reaches home plate, he scores a run and is no longer a base runner. He must leave the playing area until his spot in the order comes up again. A runner may only circle the bases once per plate appearance and thus can score no more than a single run.

Batting

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Seven-time MVP Barry Bonds just after swinging at a pitch (photo: Agência Brasil)

Each plate appearance consists of a series of pitches, in which the pitcher throws the ball towards home plate while a batter is standing in the batter's box. With each pitch, the batter must decide whether or not to swing the bat at the ball in an attempt to hit it. The pitches arrive quickly, so the decision to swing must be made in less than a tenth of a second, based on whether or not the ball is hittable and in the strike zone, a region defined by the area directly above home plate and between the hollow beneath the batter's knee and the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants. In addition to swinging at the ball, a batter who wishes to put the ball in play may hold his bat over home plate and attempt to tap a pitch lightly; this is called a bunt.

On any pitch, if the batter swings at the ball and misses, he is charged with a strike. If the batter does not swing, the home plate umpire judges whether or not the ball passed through the strike zone. If the ball, or any part of it, passed through the zone, it is ruled a strike; otherwise, it is called a ball. The number of balls and strikes thrown to the current batter is known as the count; the count is always given balls first, then strikes (such as 3-2 or "three and two", which would be 3 balls and 2 strikes).

If the batter swings and makes contact with the ball, but does not put it in play in fair territory—a foul ball—he is charged with an additional strike, except when there are already two strikes. Thus, a foul ball with two strikes leaves the count unchanged. (However, a noted exception to this rule is that a ball bunted foul with two strikes always counts as a strike.) If a pitch is batted foul or fair and a member of the defensive team is able to catch it, before the ball strikes the ground, the batter is declared out. In the event that a bat contacts the ball, but the ball continues sharply and directly to the catcher's mitt and is caught by the catcher, it is a foul tip, which is same as an ordinary strike.

When three strikes occur on a batter, it is a strikeout and the batter is automatically out unless the pitch is not caught by the catcher (a violation of the third strike rule[1]). If the catcher drops the third strike the batter is allowed to attempt to advance to first base.(The catcher can try to get him out.)

On the fourth ball the batter becomes a runner, and is entitled to advance to first base without risk of being put out, called a base on balls or a walk (abbreviated BB). If a pitch touches the batter, the umpire declares a hit by pitch (abbreviated HBP) and the batter is awarded first base, unless the umpire determines that the ball was in the strike zone when it hit the batter, or that the batter did not attempt to avoid being hit. In practice, neither exception is ever called unless the batter obviously tries to get hit by the pitch; even standing still in the box will virtually always be overlooked, and the batter awarded first.

Base running

Once a batter becomes a runner, he is said to be "on" that base until he attempts to advance to the next base, until he is put out, or until the half-inning ends. Runners on second or third base are considered to be in scoring position since ordinary hits, even singles, will often score them.

If a runner approaches a base and that base is already occupied by another runner, the latter has to leave the base. This way one to four players of the offensive team can be on the infield: the batter, and three runners on each base. Consequently a home run hit can count up to four runs (see grand slam).

A runner legally touching a base is "safe"—he may not be put out. Runners may attempt to advance from base to base at any time (except when time is called by the umpire), but must advance on any fair ball that touches the ground if he is forced to by a later runner claiming that base. When a ball is hit in the air, a fly ball, and caught by the defending team, runners must return and touch the base they occupied at the time of the pitch—called tagging up—after the ball is caught. Once they do this, they may attempt to advance at their own risk.

File:Baseball pick-off attempt.jpg
Pick-off attempt on runner (in red) at first base

Baserunners may attempt to advance, or steal a base, while the pitcher is throwing a pitch. The pitcher, in lieu of delivering the pitch, may try to prevent this by throwing the ball to one of the infielders in order to tag the runner; if successful, it is called a pick-off. If the runner attempts to steal the next base but is tagged out before reaching it safely, he is caught stealing. An illegal attempt by the pitcher to throw a runner out, among other pitching violations, is called a balk, allowing the runners to advance one base without risk of being put out.

Batting and base running strategy

The goal of each batter is to become a base runner himself (usually by a safe hit or a base on balls), or to help move other base runners along. Batters attempt to "read" pitchers through pre-game preparation by studying the tendencies of pitchers and by talking to other batters that previously faced the pitcher. While batting, batters attempt to "read" pitches by looking for clues that the pitcher or catcher reveal. These clues (also referred to as "tipping pitches") include movements of the pitchers arms, shoulders, body, etc, and an attempt to "read" the spin of a ball early in the pitch to anticipate its trajectory. Batters also remain keenly aware of the count during their at bat. When the count is in the batter's favor (like 2-0), the batter is more likely to take a risky swing, but when the count is in the pitcher's favor (like 0-2), the batter will take a more conservative swing.

In general, base running is a tactical part of the game requiring good judgment by runners (and their coaches) to assess the risk in attempting to advance. During tag plays, a good slide can affect the outcome of the play. Managers will often simultaneously send a runner and require the batter to swing (a hit-and-run play) in an attempt to advance runners.

During the course of play many offensive and defensive players run close to each other, and during tag plays, the defensive player must touch the offensive player. Although baseball is considered a non-contact sport; a runner may be allowed to make potentially dangerous contact with a fielder as part of an attempt to reach a base, unless that fielder is fielding a batted ball. (Noted exceptions to the dangerous contact rule are found throughout amateur competitions, including youth leagues, high school, and college baseball.) A good slide is often more advantageous than such contact, and "malicious" contact by runners is typically prohibited as offensive interference. The most common occurrence of contact of this nature is at home plate between the runner and the catcher, as the catcher is well padded and locked into position on or near the plate, and the runner will often try to knock the ball out of the catchers hand. Since the catcher is seen (symbolically and literally) as the last line of defense, it seems natural that the more physical play happens here.

Innings and determining a winner

An inning consists of each team having one turn in the field and one turn to hit, with the visiting team batting before the home team. A standard game lasts nine innings, although some leagues (such as high school baseball) use seven-inning games. The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins. If the home team is ahead after eight-and-a-half innings have been played, it is declared the winner, and the last half-inning is not played. If the home team is trailing or tied in the last inning and they score to take the lead, the game ends as soon as the winning run touches home plate; however, if the last batter hits a home run to win the game, he and any runners on base are all permitted to score.

If both teams have scored the same number of runs at the end of a regular-length game, a tie is avoided by the addition of extra innings. As many innings as necessary are played until one team has the lead at the end of an inning. Thus, the home team always has a chance to respond if the visiting team scores in the top half of the inning; this gives the home team a small tactical advantage. In theory, a baseball game could go on forever; in practice, however, they eventually end. In addition to that rule, a game might theoretically end if both the home and away team were to run out of players to substitute (See Substitutions). In Major League Baseball the longest game played was a 26-inning affair between the Brooklyn Robins and Boston Braves on May 1, 1920. The game ended in a 1-1 tie called on account of darkness.

In Major League Baseball, games end with tie scores only because conditions have made it impossible to continue play. A tie game does not count as an official game in the standings unless it is finished later or replayed; however, individual player statistics from tie games are counted. Inclement weather may also shorten games, but at least five innings must be played for the game to be considered official; four-and-a-half innings are enough if the home team is ahead. Previously, curfews and the absence of adequate lighting caused more ties and shortened games. Also, with more modern playing surfaces better able to handle light rains, the process for calling or shortening a game due to weather has changed; it is more common than in the past to delay a game as much as 2 hours before a cancellation; also, a delay usually does not occur anymore until the rain is moderate-heavy and/or there is standing water on some part of the playing field.

In Japanese baseball, if the score remains tied after nine innings, up to three extra innings may be played before the game is called a tie. Some youth or amateur leagues will end a game early if one team is ahead by ten or more runs, a practice known as the "mercy rule" or "slaughter rule". Rarely, a game can also be won or lost by forfeit.

There is a short break between each half-inning during which the new defensive team takes the field and the pitcher warms up. Traditionally, the break between the top half and the bottom half of the seventh inning is known as the seventh-inning stretch. During the "stretch," fans often sing the chorus of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," although since September 11, 2001, "God Bless America" has become common.

Substitutions

Each team is allowed to substitute for any player at any time the ball is dead. A batter who replaces another batter is referred to as a pinch hitter; similarly, a pinch runner may be used as a replacement for a baserunner. Any replacement is a permanent substitution; the replaced player may not return to the game.

It is common for a pitcher to pitch for several innings and then be removed in favor of a relief pitcher. Because pitching is a specialized skill, most pitchers are relatively poor hitters; it is common to substitute for a pitcher when he is due to bat. This pinch hitter is typically then replaced by a relief pitcher when the team returns to the field on defense, but more complicated substitutions are possible, most notably the double switch.

Many amateur leagues allow a starting player who was removed to return to the game in the same position in the batting order under a re-entry rule. Youth leagues often allow free and open substitution to encourage player participation.

Most leagues, notably Major League Baseball's American League, allow a designated hitter, a player whose sole purpose is to hit when it would normally be the pitcher's turn. This is not considered a substitution but rather a position, albeit a purely offensive one. A designated hitter does not play in the field on defense and may remain in the game regardless of changes in pitchers.

Rosters

During the course of a game, each baseball team has players that are an active part of the game, called "in the game," and players that are not, called "on the bench." The players on the bench are needed in case of injuries and to make strategic pitching, fielding, and batting substitutions. To keep the game fair, each team is limited to a fixed number of players. That number is dictated by the rules of the game. In the major leagues, a team may have a maximum of 25 men on a roster from Opening Day until August 31. After that, teams may call up additional personnel, up to a maximum of 40 players on the active roster.

Other personnel

Each team is run by a manager, whose primary responsibility during the game is to assign players to fielding positions, determine the lineup, deciding how to substitute players, and, most importantly, choosing the course of strategy throughout the game. Managers are also assisted by coaches in helping players to develop their skills. When a team is at-bat, they will position a coach or manager in each coach's box referred to as the first and third base coaches. These coaches must help the players decide whether they should try to run to the next base; also, the coaches will signal plays to the batter and runners. Baseball is unique in that the manager and coaches all wear numbered uniforms similar to those of the players.

Any baseball game involves one or more umpires, who make rulings on the outcome of each play. At a minimum, one umpire will stand behind the catcher, to have a good view of the strike zone, and call each pitch a ball or a strike. Additional umpires may be stationed near the bases, thus making it easier to see plays in the field. In Major League Baseball, four umpires are used for each game, one near each base. In the all-star game and playoffs, six umpires are used: one at each base and two in the outfield along either foul line.

Another notable role in baseball is that of the official scorer. The results of baseball games are summarized in tables called box scores. The scorer is responsible for a number of judgments that go into the boxscore. For example, if a batted ball is misplayed by a fielder, the scorer may choose to charge the fielder with an error instead of crediting the batter with a hit. Within certain guidelines, the scorer also determines which pitchers are credited with winning and losing the game, and whether a relief pitcher will be awarded a hold or save, specific situations in which a relief pitcher keeps a lead intact for his team.

Baseball's unique style

Baseball is unique among American sports in several ways. This uniqueness is a large part of its longstanding appeal and strong association with the American psyche. The philosopher Morris Raphael Cohen described baseball as a national religion.

Although the following elements all contribute to baseball's uniqueness in American culture, they are all shared by its cousin game cricket. In many Commonwealth nations, cricket and the culture surrounding it hold a similar place and affection to baseball's role in American culture.

Time element

American football, basketball, ice hockey and soccer all use a clock, and games often end by a team killing the clock rather than competing directly against the opposing team. In contrast, baseball has no clock; a team cannot win without getting the last batter out and rallies are not constrained by time.

In recent decades, observers have criticized professional baseball for the length of its games, with some justification as the time required to play a baseball game has increased steadily through the years. One hundred years ago, games typically took an hour and a half to play; in 2004, the average major league baseball game lasted 2 hours and 47 minutes. This is due to longer commercial breaks, increased offense, more pitching changes, and a slower pace of play.

In response, Major League Baseball has instructed umpires to be more strict in enforcing speed-up rules and the size of the strike zone. Although the official rules specify that when the bases are empty, the pitcher should deliver the ball within 20 seconds of receiving it (with the penalty of a ball called if he fails to do so), this rule is rarely, if ever, enforced.

Individual and team

Baseball is fundamentally a team sport—even two or three Hall of Fame-caliber players are no guarantee of a pennant—yet it places individual players under great pressure and scrutiny. The pitcher must make good pitches or risk losing the game; the hitter has a mere fraction of a second to decide what pitch has been thrown and whether or not to swing at it. While their respective managers and/or coaches can sometimes signal players regarding the strategies the manager wants to employ, no one can help the pitcher while he pitches or the hitter while he bats. If the batter hits a line drive, the outfielder, as the last line of defense, makes the lone decision to try to catch it or play it on the bounce. Baseball history is full of heroes and goats—men who in the heat of the moment (the "clutch") distinguished themselves with a timely hit or catch, or an untimely strikeout or error.


The uniqueness of each baseball park

File:WrigleyFieldScoreBoard081105.jpg
The main scoreboard after the August 11, 2005 Cubs - Cardinals game at Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois.


Unlike the majority of sports, baseball parks do not have to follow a strict set of guidelines. With the exception of the strict rules on the dimensions of the infield, discussed above, the official rules simply state that fields built after June 1, 1958 must have a minimum distance of 325 feet (99 m) from home plate to the fences in left and right field and 400 (121 m) feet to center. This rule (a footnote to official rule 1.04) was passed specifically in response to the fence at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which was 251 feet (77 m) to the left field pole, 1 foot (0.3 m) over the bare minimum required by the rules. However, major league teams often skirt this rule. For example, Minute Maid Park's left field is only 315 feet (96 m), and with a fence much lower than the famous "Green Monster" at Fenway Park. And there are no rules at all regulating the height of "fences, stands or other obstructions", other than the assumption that they exist. Because of this flexibility, there are all sorts of variations in parks, from different lengths to the fences to uneven playing surfaces to massive or minimal amounts of foul territory. All of these factors, as well as local variations in altitude, climate and game scheduling, can affect the nature of the games played at those ballparks, and a park may be referred to as either a "pitcher's park" or a "hitter's park", depending on which side benefits more from the unique factors present. Wrigley Field, strangely enough, can be either, depending on the wind direction at any given time.

Statistics

As with many sports, and perhaps even more so, statistics are very important to baseball. Statistics have been kept for the Major Leagues since their creation, and presumably statistics were around even before that. General managers, baseball scouts, managers, and players alike study player statistics to help them choose various strategies to best help their team.

Traditionally, statistics like batting average for batters—the number of hits divided by the number of at bats—and earned run average—approximately the number of runs given up by a pitcher per nine innings—have governed the statistical world of baseball. However, the advent of sabermetrics has brought an onslaught of new statistics that perhaps better gauge a player's performance and contributions to his team from year to year.

Some sabermetrics have entered the mainstream baseball statistic world. On-base plus slugging (OPS) is a somewhat complicated formula that gauges a hitter's performance better than batting average. It combines the hitter's on base percentage—hits plus walks plus hit by pitches divided by plate appearances—with their slugging percentagetotal bases divided by at bats. Walks plus hits per inning pitched (or WHIP) gives a good representation of a pitcher's abilities; it is calculated exactly as its name suggests.

Also important are more specific statistics for a certain situation. For example, a certain hitter's ability to hit left-handed pitchers might cause his manager to give him more chances to face lefties. Some hitters hit better with runners in scoring position, so an opposing manager, knowing this statistic, might elect to intentionally walk him in order to face a poorer hitter.

History

File:Conner-prairie-baseball.jpg
1886 baseball demonstration at Conner Prairie living history museum.


Baseball is thought to be a direct descendant of cricket, rounders, and town ball (which was much like rounders). The first explicit references to baseball appear to come from England. The earliest known mention of the sport is in a 1744 publication, A Little Pretty Pocket-Book by John Newbery. It contains a wood-cut illustration of boys playing "baseball" (showing a similar set-up to the modern game) and a rhymed description of the sport. Also, a British letter dating from 1748 by Lady Hervey describes how the then Prince of Wales diverted his time playing baseball.

Another early mention of the game can be found in an 1886 edition of Sporting Life magazine, in a letter from Dr. Adam Ford of Denver, Colorado, formerly of St. Marys, Ontario, Canada, who details a base ball game played in Beachville, Ontario, Canada, on June 4, 1838 -- Militia Muster Day.

Alexander Cartwright had a hand in compiling and publishing an early list of rules in 1845 (the so-called Knickerbocker Rules) to meet the demands of the already popular sport, and today's rules of baseball have evolved from them.

Professional baseball began in the United States around 1865, and the National League was founded in 1876 as the first true major league, quickly producing famous players such as Honus Wagner. Several other major leagues formed and failed, but the American League, established in 1901 as a major league and originating from the minor Western League (1893), did succeed. While the two leagues were rivals who actively fought for the best players, often disregarding one another's contracts and engaging in bitter legal disputes, a modicum of peace was established in 1903, they began playing a World Series that year.

Compared to modern times, games in the early part of the 20th century were lower scoring and pitchers were more successful. The "inside game", whose nature was to "scratch for runs", was played rather more violently and aggressively than it is today. Ty Cobb said of his era especially, "Baseball is a war!" This period, which has since become known as the "dead-ball era", ended in the 1920s with several rule changes that gave advantages to hitters and the rise of the legendary baseball player Babe Ruth, who showed the world what power hitting could produce and thus changed the nature of the game.

During the first half of the 20th century, a "gentlemen's agreement" in the form of the baseball color line effectively barred African-American players from the major leagues (though not Native Americans, oddly enough), resulting in the formation of several Negro Leagues. Finally in 1947, Major League Baseball's color barrier was broken when Jackie Robinson was signed by the National League's Brooklyn Dodgers. Although it was not instantaneous, baseball has since become fully integrated.

Baseball has often been a barometer of the fabled American "melting pot", as immigrants from different regions have tried to "make good" in various areas including sports. In the 19th century, baseball was populated with many players of Irish or German extraction. A number of Native Americans had successful careers especially in the early 1900s. Italians and Poles appeared on many rosters during the 1920s and 1930s. Black Americans came on strong starting in the late 1940s after the barriers had been lifted, and continue to form a significant contingent. By the 1960s, Hispanics had started to make the scene, and had become a dominant force by the 1990s. In the 21st century, East Asians have been appearing in increasing numbers.

The middle of the century led major league baseball to the West of the United States and also became a time when pitchers dominated. Scoring became so low in the American League, due to pitching dominance, that the designated hitter was introduced; this rule now constitutes the primary difference between the two leagues.

Despite the popularity of baseball, and the attendant high salaries relative to those of average Americans, the players have become unsatisfied from time to time, as they believed the owners had too much control—a stance that many baseball fans found objectionable. Various job actions have occurred throughout the game's history. Players on specific teams occasionally attempted strikes, but usually came back when their jobs were sufficiently threatened. The throwing of the 1919 World Series, the "Black Sox scandal", was in some sense a "strike" or at least a rebellion by the ballplayers against a perceived stingy owner. But the strict rules of baseball contracts tended to keep the players "in line" in general.

This began to change in the 1960s when former Steelworkers Union president Marvin Miller became the Baseball Players Union president. The union became much stronger than it had been previously, especially when the reserve clause was effectively nullified in the mid-1970s. A series of strikes and lockouts began in baseball, affecting portions of the 1972 and 1981 seasons and culminating in the infamous strike of 1994 that led to the cancellation of the World Series and carried over into 1995 before it was finally settled.

The players typically always got what they demanded, but the popularity of baseball diminished greatly as a result of the players' actions, and fans were slow to return. Cal Ripken's record-breaking 2131st consecutive game in 1995 was a feel-good moment that helped boost interest in the sport. The great home run race of 1998 between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa really turned things around, captivating fans all summer. As with other times when adversity threatened the game, positive on-field events had triggered a renewed surge in baseball's popularity in America.

Professional baseball leagues began to form in countries outside of America in the 1920s and 1930s, including the Netherlands (formed in 1922), Japan (1936), and Australia (1934). Today, Venezuela (1945), the whole of Europe (1953), Italy (1948), Korea (1982), Taiwan (1990), and mainland China (2003) all have professional leagues as well (however, the leagues in Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom have generally had a niche appeal compared to the leagues in Asia and Venezuela and only now is the sport beginning to broaden in scope in those nations, most notably in Australia, who won a surprise silver medal in the 2004 Olympic Games). Israel is trying to form a professional baseball league with the help of American emigres. Canada has a franchise in Major League Baseball as well. Competition between national teams, such as in the World Cup of Baseball and the Olympic baseball tournament, has been administered by the International Baseball Federation since its formation in 1938. As of 2004, this organization has 112 member countries. The new World Baseball Classic, to be held in 2006, seems likely to have a much higher profile than previous tournaments, owing to the participation for the first time of a significant number of players from the United States Major Leagues.

The 117th meeting of the International Olympic Committee, held in Singapore in July 2005, voted not to hold baseball and softball tournaments at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, but they will remain an Olympic sport during the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, and will be put to vote again for each succeeding Summer Olympics. The elimination of baseball and softball from the 2012 Olympic program enabled the IOC to consider adding two other sports to the program instead, but no other sport received a majority of votes favoring its inclusion. While baseball's lack of major appeal in a significant portion of the world was a factor, a more important factor was the unwillingness of Major League Baseball to have a break during the Games so that it's players could participate, something that the National Hockey League now does during the Winter Olympic Games.

Organized leagues

Baseball is played at a number of levels, by amateur and professionals, and by the young and the old. Youth programs use modified versions of adult and professional baseball rules, which may include a smaller field, easier pitching (from a coach, a tee, or a machine), less contact, base running restrictions, limitations on innings a pitcher can throw, liberal balk rules, and run limitations, among others. Since rules vary from location-to-location and among the organizations, coverage of the nuances in those rules is beyond this article.

Following is a list of organized leagues:

See also

Culture

Statistics and lists

Footnote

  1. ^The "third strike rule", which has been on the books since at least the time of the Knickerbocker Rules, is that the batter can try to advance to first base on the third strike, if the third strike is not caught. However, the batter is not permitted to advance if first base is occupied, unless there are already two outs. This is to prevent the catcher from dropping the ball on purpose and setting up a potential double or triple play. The underlying concept is the same as the "Infield Fly Rule", to curb defensive shenanigans. Both rules change when there are two outs, because then there is no defensive advantage to dropping the ball on purpose. Statistically, such a play still counts as a strikeout for the pitcher, plus either a passed ball charged to the catcher or a wild pitch charged to the pitcher, so if the batter advances safely to first on such a play, it is possible for a pitcher to record 4 (or more) strikeouts in one inning. Such has happened several dozen times in the history of the major leagues, and at least one time in the minor leagues a pitcher has recorded 5.

References

  • Joe Brinkman and Charlie Euchner, The Umpire's Handbook, rev. ed. (1987)
  • Bill James and John Dewan, Bill James Presents the Great American Baseball Stat Book, ed. by Geoff Beckman et al. (1987)
  • Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, (ISBN 0743227220)
  • Robert Peterson, Only the Ball Was White (1970, reprinted 1984)
  • Joseph L. Reichler (ed.), The Baseball Encyclopedia, 7th rev. ed. (1988). (since 1871)
  • Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig, The Image of Their Greatness: An Illustrated History of Baseball from 1900 to the Present, updated ed. (1984)
  • Lawrence S. Ritter (comp.), The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It, new ed. (1984)
  • David Quentin Voigt, Baseball, an Illustrated History (1987)
  • Jeff MacGregor, The New Electoral Sex Symbol: Nascar Dad, The New York Times (January 18, 2004)
  • Michael Mandelbaum, The Meaning of Sports, (PublicAffairs, ISBN 1-58648-252-1).
  • Diamonds of the North: A Concise History of Baseball in Canada by William Humber (Oxford University Press, 1995).
  • Old Time Baseball and the London Tecumsehs of the late 1870s by Les Bronson, a recorded (and later transcribed) talk given to the London & Middlesex Historical Society on February 15, 1972. Available in the London Room of the Central Branch of the London Public Library.
  • Journal of Sport History (1988), A Critical Examination of a Source in Early Ontario Baseball: The Reminiscence of Adam E. Ford by UWO Professor Robert K. Barney and Nancy Bouchier.
  • The Beaver, Exploring Canada's History October-November 1994, Baseball's Canadian Roots: Abner Who? by Mark Kearney.
  • The Northern Game: Baseball the Canadian Way by Bob Elliott (Sport Classic, 2005).
  • 'The 1948 London Majors: A Great Canadian Team by Dan Mendham (unpublished academic paper, UWO, December 7, 1992).
  • An Eight-Page Indenture/ Instrument #33043 between The London and Western Trusts Company Limited, The Corporation of The City of London and John Labatt, Limited, dated December 31, 1936, and registered on title in the Land Registry Office for the City of London on January 2, 1937, conveying Tecumseh Park to the City of London along with $10,000 on the provisos that the athletic field be preserved, maintained and operated "for the use of the citizens of the City of London as an athletic field and recreation ground" and that it be renamed "The John Labatt Memorial Athletic Park."
  • Heritage Baseball: City of London a souvenir program from July 23, 2005, celebrating the history of Labatt Park and London, Ontario's 150th anniversary as an incorporated city.
  • Pittsfield: Small city, big baseball town, earliest known baseball reference

External links

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Note: This page is REGULARLY vandalized with comments like "X is a NOOB!!!!1", so something like that is nothing new and also closely watched for. This happens often enough that it is very likely it will be removed before your target has time enough to see it, as someone else will have changed it to his or her target.

--> A newbie (written in 1337 as: n00b) is a newcomer to a particular field, the term being commonly used on the Internet, where it might refer to new, inexperienced, or ignorant users of a game, a newsgroup, an operating system or the Internet itself. The term is generally regarded as an insult, although in many cases more experienced/knowledgeable people use it in purposes of negative reinforcement, urging “newbies” to learn more about the field or area in question.


Variant spellings, such as newb, noob, n00b, and (less commonly), nub, nib, nube, and n3wb (in Leetspeak) are numerous and common in Internet use.


Social rejection

In some contexts, such as on Usenet and in multiplayer video games, newbies are discouraged from the group. Newbies may ask questions that seem extremely simple to experienced users, or disrupt normal order with their lack of skills or etiquette in a certain type of technology. For example, video game players may dislike newbies because they think newbies will hurt or bring down the collective efforts of a team game. Usenet posters may dislike newbies for bringing up off-topic discussion or violating netiquette.

In some groups, the term "newbie" is used by experienced users to refer to any newcomer, whether the newcomer acts ignorantly or not. In this case, the regulars assert their position with a sort of hazing (sometimes called pwning in video games). Even if a newbie is actually a veteran of a particular game and has just started to play online, they may still be considered a newbie.

In some MMORPGs a newbie is anyone who is lower-leveled than the person making the remark, regardless of actual time spent playing the game. (For example, a level 30 player in World of Warcraft may consider a level 10 player a newbie.) Some forums and MMORPGs have banned some of the more common spelling variations ("newb", "knob" , "nub", "noob", "n00b") in an attempt to reduce flame wars. This has, of course, led to more variations.

Referring to regular members as newbies is often considered to be highly insulting. The implication is that they are behaving as if they do not know the rules when in fact they have had more than sufficient opportunity to learn them.

Because of their social rejection, some games allow places or servers for newbies to band together, giving them chances to interact before going on, becoming veterans.

Social acceptance

It is often a personal choice within a community whether to discourage or encourage newbies. For example, some GNU/Linux users may discourage non-technical users who try to install GNU/Linux, because supporting these users will be difficult and the newbies may be dissatisfied in the long run. On the other hand, some GNU/Linux users may prefer to encourage newbies, because it grows their userbase and may help the newbies learn more about computing.

Sometimes newbies are recognized as the most important members and received with extra attention. Some chat rooms, for example, have established rules to ask "oldies" to first answer the newbies' questions or concerns before resuming their ongoing discussions. Large Internet forums such as 2channel and Gaia Online have special boards for newbies to learn the basics of chatting on that forum.

Other communities do not treat newbies with a significantly elevated status, but do greet most of the friendly newbies with welcomes informing them of methods to receive assistance. In these situations, the term is basically synonymous with newcomer and is meant with or without affection. For example, Wikipedia has a firm policy of welcoming all new contributors whether or not their first edits are helpful to an encyclopedia. This way, users who make mistakes will be encouraged to learn the rules and keep contributing, rather than provoking censure or anger.

The positive interpretation is probably the more recent but has become quite common. The only way to determine the intended connotation is to examine the context.

Individuals may refer to themselves as newbies in a self-deprecating manner or in acknowledgment of their newcomer status, which may (or may not) lessen the amount of harassment they receive. This may have negative or positive connotations, depending on the standards of the community. However, highly skilled individuals also tend to refer to themselves as newbies to make others think they will be an easy kill, only to be shocked when they find out how skilled the "newbie" really is.

Internet Relay Chat

In IRC, newbies are both discouraged and encouraged, depending on the particular channel. There are channels on any of the major networks dedicated to catering to newbie questions and getting into the IRC community. However, beyond the scope of these introductory rooms there are many channels where common newbie mistakes are not tolerated. This may include, repeating the same sentence, begging for pirated software, immature insult slinging, attacking an operator, usage of color, and the use of channel bot search and file list commands (such as !find or @search). Most channels have rules that are posted as a link in the topic or sent to the user as an on-join message. Breaking said rules or established policy by someone who does not take the initiative to find out the rules can result in an instant kick-ban.

Newb vs. noob

Newb and noob may have somewhat different connotations. Newbs are simply newcomers—noob and n00b, on the other hand, generally means someone who is obnoxious, annoying, or breaks the rules; whether they are actual newcomers or not is mostly irrelevant. Therefore, a noob may be someone who has been around for a time but still engages in behavior that he or she should have learned is unacceptable. Noobs are generally confident in what they are doing, but in reality are annoying others. "Newb" is not necessarily an insulting word, but "noob" usually is. If someone makes an unintelligent comment on a forum or asks a question that even other newbies could answer then it is said that they are making a "noobish" comment or asking a "noobish" question.

More experienced players are often encouraged to give friendly advice and help to newbs, to support them as they tackle the learning curve of whichever game they're playing, and some game servers are set up explicitly for the purpose of allowing newbs to gain experience before entering more competitive environments.

"Noob" can also mean a person who claims to know a lot about a subject but in truth does not. It was first used in hacker groups on the BBS chat systems in the 1980s. It is important to note that noob and newb are not necessarily interchangeable. Many times the term noob or n00b will be used by veterans to degrade a user for their lack of knowledge, or claims to know more than they truly do.

Recently, the spelling noob has been used more interchangeably with "newb", however, and is being used in a more joking manner, usually among friends and users on good terms when one user makes a mistake that most veterans would know better not to do, whereas a "newb" or "noob" wouldn't know better. For example, in the computer sense, a user on a bulletin board may call a veteran user as a noob in a joking manner because they didn't search for a topic currently open with the same discussion before posting a discussion of their own.

In online gaming, the term is also often used as a general insult. Frustrated players on the losing team may refer to the winning team as noobs. In this case there is no actual connotation of newness meant; the word is simply being used as an insult. By the same token, members of a dominating team may use the term "noobs" (n00bs) to further frustrate their opposition by implying a general lack of skill on the losing team's part, such as camping (staying in the general vicinity, usually a spawn point, for an extended period of time, especially America's Army and DOOM) or wastefully firing at a wall, wasting ammunition and time. Noob might also be used by veteran players to criticize cheap tactics or overusage of unbalanced weaponry. In an online team game where friendly fire is turned off, a noob "tactic" would be to overuse explosives in cramped areas around fellow teammates. Noob usually applies in games where team-play is important, and the players choose to completely ignore the team structure and goals. Some other "noobs" are players who overly use "uber weapons" to defeat other players, players who "kill-steal" from others, and players who scam others into losing their items or money.

"Noob" has frequently been written in different forms. Because of the proximity of the "j" key to the "n" key, players in online games often typed "j00b" or "joob" by accident, and the recent proliferation of "nub" (used to shorten the word noob) has often turned into "jub". Though neither "joob" or "jub" have any meaning, their connection with "noob" makes the two words equivalent. "B00b" and "m00b" sometimes appear in a similar manner ("b" and "m" are right beside "n" in a standard computer keyboard). Similar to the internet terminology "pwned" which originated from owned when an anonymous gamer made a typing error by pressing the "p" key which is located to the right of the "o" key on a standard computer keyboard.

U.S. Navy usage

The term "non-useful body", or N.U.B. was coined in the submariner world. A brand new sailor reporting aboard a submarine had to earn his "dolphins" (submarine-qualification: learning everything about a submarine in order to quickly and decisively assist in damage control). Until the sailor became so qualified, he could not do his assigned function aboard the submarine. During this time, he was declared a non-useful-body, and was generally harassed until he completed it. The term has since migrated to the surface fleet, and is used to negatively refer to new sailors, who are not as experienced and useful as their shipmates.

U.S. Army usage

A 'Newbie' was a term to describe new arrivals in the Vietnam theater of war, decades before its popular use on 1980s bulleting boards and subsequent internet message boards and chat rooms.

"It was very tough to be a newbie in Vietnam. When you get to your unit, the other men look so angry at the world, they look tired and unmotivated."

Rough etymology

The following is the likely etymology of n00b:

  1. newbie (new person)
  2. newby (variation of newbie)
  3. newb (shortened version of newbie)
  4. noob (a variant probably both for phonetics and Leetspeak, also sometimes used as slander)
  5. n00b (partial Leet speak of "noob")
  6. nub (another variant of noob)
  7. nublet (a young noob)
  8. ubern00b (emphasis of n00b, generally used as slander)
  9. noobtard (demeaning rendition of noob that insults intelligence with ability)

Newbies in Internet culture

Since the internet has long been an attractor of people, especially children, to sophisticated areas of expertise (programming, gaming, system administration, etc.), there have been certain cultural and behavioral patterns that result as a conflict of newbies against veterans, veterans against newbies, and newbies against newbies; these clashes typically result in newbies showing childish behavior. Newbies have the bad habit, whether accidental or purposely, of asking obvious questions in online forums and chat rooms that could be quickly solved by use of a search engine. For example, a newbie on a Yu-Gi-Oh! card game forum could ask this obvious question: "What are the green cards called?" even though it states in the rulebook, anywhere on the internet and on the card what they are.

Noobs in Internet gaming

In gaming, noobs tend to exhibit one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Poor sportsmanship: noobs might communicate explicit/racial/prejudicial comments to the victorious parties, in situations where the newbies lose. Blame might be redirected to an external phenomenon, such as a latency (a.k.a. lag) spike. Other poor sportsmanship actions include: disconnecting in a game once victory is deemed impossible (albeit this may prevent statistics from being recorded, both for the victors and the losers). In team games, newbies might team kill (sometimes called gank, meaning 'Gang Kill') friendly players as a vent of their frustration.
  • Giving personal information that is fabricated or is not actually true. For example, a "noob" may claim that they are "football players" and "could beat you up in real life", and countless other claims of "real life" superiority.
  • Noobs look for opposite or same sex companionship online. It is common to see a "noob" requesting a "gf" or "bf" (girlfriend/boyfriend), especially one that is advanced or at a high level (e.g. Runescape).
  • The inclination to shout random phrases when voice is enabled, that may be nonsensical and/or use an overwhelming amount of explicit language. Some "noobs" even do strange things such as playing on the piano or impersonating celebrities or people with ethnic accents. This is especially a problem on Xbox Live and Counter-Strike. This can drown out aural environmental indicators, which could lead to a detrimental gameplay effect to the other parties involved. Some games have options specifically made to drown out the voices of other players.
  • Little or no use of team tactics, or understanding how to cooperate. This is especially critical in games with players assuming specific roles on a team, such as Battlefield 2 or TeamFortress. Moreover, a tendency to be 'greedy' in regards to personal user experience versus the team objectives, i.e. always using a vehicle without being inline with objectives.
  • Not understanding the game environment. This includes not understanding the concept of friendly and hostile players, combat/trading zones and non-combat/trading zones, or ignorance to game world rules regarding player conduct.
  • A tendency to use only the most powerful weapon possible, such as always using the rocket launcher when possible in Doom 3, even if the situation would call for a different approach.
  • A tendency to utilize cheating programs, after a period of frustration experienced from getting beaten by veterans. This is most frequently seen in Counter-Strike and Diablo.
  • A tendency to require the quick fix solution. In computer role-playing games for instance, this would include such actions as begging for free in-game items off other players.
  • A tendency to act like a certain place in a map belongs to an individual. This occurs very often in MMORPGs, as a lot of players want to level up their characters quickly without being bothered.

Noob talk

An underground joke is "noob talk" or "NUB/NOB TALK". Noob talk is when an individual uses harsh spelling errors and terrible punctuation to insult noobs. A lot of "real" noob talk is found on games such as Gunbound, Ragnarok Online, Counter-Strike, and RuneScape. Also, there are many examples of noob talk on game-related websites, especially forums. An example of this dialect is "ITAM PLZ" (translated into "Items Please") (In Runescape, the higher leveled players usually use the term "PLX" or "PLOX" when imitating N00b Speak."). Other examples of "noob talk" is randomly shouting "i 4m t3h pWn!" and "t3h d00m!". Noob talk is mostly used to make fun of players who whine and ask for money or items. More advanced players might mockingly walk up to a low-level character and plead "moses plz!! or "i wnat godl! plz!?". Noob talk is fairly simple to grasp. The main characteristic of noob talk is to make numerous spelling mistakes and overuse common Internet slang. It is easy to discern between "real" noob talk and "joke" noob talk. In many ways, this is similar to the 1980s B1FF postings on Usenet.

Example of real "noob talk":

OMG LOLOLOLO U SUK!!!!!!!11
OMFG R U SERIUS??? <<PERSON>> IS SUCH A NEWBIEz0r$!!!1!!!11!!!1!

Example of joke "noob talk":

OMGWTFBBQ U SUK11oneone11!one
omfgkthxbai11one1+shift

Utilization of noob or n00b as an insult is very similar in act being called a troll; certain actions trigger someone's "noob" or "n00b" label, as a form of group insult.

Noob generally describes a player's current behavior rather than his level of game experience. Although apparently originating from reactions to the ignorance among new players, its usage extends to high-level players who act similarly, and invalid with new players who lack apparent foolishness. Someone online may call someone a "n00b", who offline would call him or her a loser or idiot.

Froobie

The term froobie or froob is a combination of the words free or freebie and noob or newbie. It originates in the online-game Anarchy Online and describes a player that is playing for free (with an ad-supported account instead of a monthly subscription fee). There was a great deal of initial controversy over the froobs. The older players were upset that the froobs obtained service for free, when the veterans had to pay for service. Despite the controversy, Anarchy Online was full of game stopping issues prior to froobs. In the MMORPG RuneScape, the term froob is commonly used to describe high leveled people who act like they are the best.

Usage In Popular Culture

Doctor Cox in Scrubs continuous refers to his protége John Dorian (J.D) as "Newbie" as a way of breaking his spirits and constantly reminding him whos in charge.

In The Sims video-game, the tutorial family which you learn with are called Bob & Betty Newbie.

References

Resources to help newbies to the Internet include:

This is only a preview of what the page could look like. Feel free to make changes or make suggestions on the talk page.

Welcome to the MKDS GameFAQs custom emblem/emblem request page! Here you can find a list of all the emblems various artists from GameFAQs have made, plus links to their sites.

Contents

Artists

We currently have 4 designated artists. They are, in alphabetical order by GameFAQs name:

Bobb_of_Morrow

Website: http://photobucket.com/albums/c140/cheatbobb/Mario%20Kart%20DS%20Emblems/

canedog91

Website: http://photobucket.com/albums/f263/canedog91/
Notes: Specializes in sports emblems.

Gameboyguru

Website: http://photobucket.com/albums/b98/Captain_Gamer/Mario%20Kart%20Emblems/
Notes: Specializes in video game sprites.

turpinator

Website: http://photobucket.com/albums/f368/turpinator/
Notes: Makes each emblem by hand, giving the most accurate colours and styles.

Emblems

Master List

Here is a list of all the emblems created by our artists. To find a specific one, look in its category or search with Ctrl+F.

A

B

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C

D

E

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F

G

H

I

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J

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K

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L

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M

N

O

P

Q

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R

S

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U

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X

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Y

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Z

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Requests

Post your requests here. If you have an account on BluWiki, sign it with "~~~."

Completed Requests

Only requests that were originally placed on this page will be listed, in order of completion.


Main Page | Tournaments | Members

Here you will find listed all the Wi-Fi enabled games out, and coming out, along with the game information of all the guild members. It is suggested that all these players listed are in your Friends Rosters.

Team Leaders/Council

1. Red Leader: pyro_master_101 (User)(Talk)
Red Team Leader
2. Blue Leader: biopower2
Blue Team Leader
3. Green Leader: chocobo333572
Green Team Leader
4.Yellow Leader: cheatbobb
Yellow Team Leader
5. im_the_big_nerdagain
Description pending

Games

Mario Kart DS

Half-Life.jpgpyro_master_101 (User)(Talk)
Name: Necrosis96
Friend Code: 133205-825346
Online Randomly
Accepting Challenges

Jthm emblem.jpgcheatbobb (User)(Talk)
Name: DanishDS
Friend Code: 060192-360692
Online often, usually between 4PM and 1AM EST
Accepting challenges!

biopower2
Name:biopower
Friend Code:171858-398635
Online at random times
Accepting challenges

spiderman4104111 (User)(Talk)
Name: gahoole
Friend Code: 171862-565967
Online at request!
Accepting challenges!

alahamora12
Name: FiryDeath
Friend Code: 468211-989974
Online whenever.
Not accepting challenges.

aznvr13
Name:aznvr13
Friend Code: 343660-736236
Playing randomly or on request.

xkillx828
Name:Christian
Friend Code: 347957-357724
Playing randomly or on request.

chocobo333572
Name:Chocobo
Friend Code:043011-658577
When I feel like playing

shazbot400
Name:Demon
Friend Code:403790-251226
When Ever Possible

Animal Crossing

RedTeam.jpgpyro_master_101 (User)(Talk)
Name: Erich
Town: Mr.Town
Friend Code: 3135-9363-0480
I'll open my gates on request.

Peppertiny temp.pngcheatbobb (User)(Talk)
Name: Danish
Town: Denmark
Friend Code: 5111-6394-7125
Gates open on request.

biopower2
Name: biopower
Town: Dragovia
Friend Code:3737-2377-2516
Gates open on request.

im_the_big_nerdagain
Name: Kacey
Town: Minden
Friend Code: 5412-3158-9280
Gates open: Will open most days if asked.

xkillx828
Name: Velgo
Town: Logas
Friend Code: 3093-0119-7965
Gates open: 4:00-5:00 NST weekdays, 4:00-6:00 NST.

spekularyon (User)(Talk)
Name: Ariel
Town: Chaos
Friend Code: 1976-3501-1579 ((New code. Please update your rosters. :3))
Gates open randomly or on request.

flowerpowertt1
Name: Taylor
Town: Hyrule
Friend Code: 3393-6662-1637
Gates open whenever.

pichu_baby717
Name: iris
Town: islAnd
Friend Code: 1375-0154-9308
Gates open whenever.

chris042809 (User)(Talk)
Name: Chris
Town: Hersey
Friend Code: 3565-4713-2272
Gates open: on request at alternate address.

flamedragon236
Name: Sora
Town: Dominoe
Friend Code: 5025-7366-9325

aznvr13(User)(Talk)
Name: Iroku
Town: Tokyo
Friend Code: 1718-6138-9801
Gates open randomly or on request.

chocobo333572
Name: Qwerty
Town: Funktown
Friend Code:1976-2921-9990

neotaea
Name: Taea
Town: Ohio
Friend Code:3007-1254-5826
Gates open on request

tyger_2393
Name: Tyger
Town: New Orem
Friend Code: 2835-3358-1487
Gates open on request.

hamstermathjess
Name: Jessica
Town: Spanish
Friend Code:3093-0356-2054
Gates open on request.

cacahead22
Name: Roy
Town: Cacarock
Friend Code:3866-1368-6530
Gates open whenever.

Tony Hawk's American Sk8land

No users with this game as of yet

Metroid Prime Hunters

Coming March 20th

Tetris DS

Coming March 20th

Lost Magic

Coming March 20th

|image = File:Acbox.jpg |developer = Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development |publisher = Nintendo |designer = Shigeru Miyamoto, Katsuya Eguchi, Hisashi Nogami, Takashi Tezuka |engine = |released = 14 April 2001 (JP) (N64)
14 December 2001 (JP) (+)
15 September 2002 (NA)
27 June 2003 (JP) (e+)
17 October 2003 (AU)
24 September 2004 (EU) |genre = Life simulation game
Role-playing game
Communication Adventure |modes = Single player |ratings = ESRB: E Everyone
PEGI: 12px 3+ |platforms = Nintendo 64, GameCube |media = N64 Cartridge / GameCube optical disc |requirements = |input = }} Animal Crossing, known as Animal Forest or Dōbutsu no Mori (どうぶつの森) in Japan, is a video game franchise developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development. After release in Japan, the game was improved upon and released in the United States on 15 September 2002, later being made a Player's Choice game. The game utilizes the GameCube's internal clock to create a persistent world.

Because of its complexity, the game uses 57 blocks of the standard 59 block memory card. If bought new, it comes with a memory card with an Animal Crossing sticker already on it and a 1 block "grab bag" in-game present in it. If the player has an NES game in Animal Crossing and the present is not collected, the entire memory card is used up.

In Japan, Animal Forest was released for the Nintendo 64 on 14 April 2001, and a new edition of the game, called Animal Forest +, was released for the GameCube in December of the same year. Another new edition of the game, Animal Forest e+, was released on 27 June 2003. Only Japan saw a Nintendo 64 release.

Gameplay

Animal Crossing has been dubbed a "communication game" by Nintendo, but has been rated as an Action game. It is an open-ended game with no plot, where a player can live a separate life with no preset plot or mandatory tasks. There are, however, certain goals to achieve to which players will be naturally drawn. The game is played out in real-time - observing days, weeks, months, and even years - using the Gamecube's internal clock. There are many actual events and holidays spanning the year, including Independence Day, Christmas, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, among others. Other regular activities such as early morning fitness classes and fishing tournaments are included in the game as well. Some players purposely adjust the clock to skip forward or backward in time, a practice known as "time traveling."

House Improvements

The main and most obvious goal of the game is to expand the size of the player's house. This house is the repository for furniture and other items bought or acquired during the course of the game, giving the player a strong motivation to achieve this goal of a complete house.

Tom Nook, a tanuki in the Japanese version and a raccoon in the American and European version, runs the local store. At the beginning of the game, he gives the player their first house with a mortgage of 19,800 Bells. The house is comically small, furnished only with wallpaper, flooring, a box, a journal, and a radio. Upon paying off the entire debt, part of which is done through a part-time job to Tom Nook, the player is offered to expand the house. If the player accepts, the house is enlarged overnight for 148,000 Bells. If the player refuses to have their house expanded, Nook expands the house nevertheless, claiming that the player will need the space. Upon paying this debt entirely, Tom Nook gives the player the option of either having the house expanded again for 398,000 Bells or having a basement built for 49,800 Bells. After the player chooses one and pays back the debt, Tom Nook then offers the other. The last addition to the house is the installation of a second floor. Upon paying back the 798,000 Bells for this last expansion, Tom Nook builds a statue of the player in front of the train station. The statue is in gold, silver, bronze, or jade, depending on the order that the other players pay off their entire debt. Receiving your own statue up in front of the train station is basically the main goal of the game.

Though Tom Nook is more than willing to sell furniture and other items to fill a house, there are many other ways to acquire furnishings. A trip to the town dump may yield items that were unwanted by someone else and and are thus free. The police station has a lost and found department run by Officer Booker, who will allow anyone to claim any item that has ended up there. Other villagers that live nearby may need favors and will reward the player for their help. Players can even obtain new furniture items by shaking trees until a piece of furniture falls from one. The downside to tree shaking, however, is that bees may come out instead. If this happens, a player must run into the nearest house or building, or else they will be stung. However, their is an upside; sometimes people catch bees in their nets and sell them for a tidy profit.

Villagers

The Animal Crossing village initially contains a handful of villagers, and others will move in or out depending on the player's actions. All of the villagers are animals, hence the game's name, and each has their own small home that the player can visit. There are many possible interactions between the player and the villagers. These include talking, trading furniture and other objects, completing tasks for rewards, and writing letters. Villagers will also interact with each other. There are roughly 200 villagers, but no more than fifteen will ever live in a town at once.. Each villager also has a sound or phrase they repeat often, often relating to the animal they are. For example, a cow might exclaim, "Macmoo!" These phrases simply add personality to the character, and can be changed at times if the villager asks the player to do so.

If the player doesn't interact with individual villagers on a regular basis, they are likely to leave the village. The village also has a level of attractiveness that depends on certain parameters that are never explicitly described to the player, but are hinted at by a spirit living in the village fountain. A high attractiveness will draw new animals to live in the village, while a low attractiveness will make existing villagers more likely to leave the town.

Fish and insects

Animal Crossing maintains a list of all fish and insects caught by the player. Some types of fish and insects are only available during certain parts of the year or at specific times.

Capturing insects requires a net, which can be purchased at Tom Nook's store. Most insects can be found during the summer, and very few are available during winter. Most insects are found by walking around and listening to the loudness of an insect's chirping, or looking at trees or flowers, but some take more dedication. Pill bugs must be found by examining rocks, and it is quite difficult to capture a bee before it has the chance to sting the player and leave their left eye swollen shut. Ants and roaches may be lured by spoiled turnips or Halloween candy. The mole cricket can only be found by listening for its distinctive sound and attempting to dig it up. The player's reward for capturing every type of insect is the golden net, which is larger than the standard net, and a butterfly model for the player's roof.

Catching fish requires a fishing pole, which is also available for purchase at Tom Nook's store. Ponds, lakes, rivers, and the ocean are available for fishing. Certain fish live only in certain bodies of water, and some fish can only be found while it is raining. The player's reward for capturing every type of fish is the golden fishing rod, which causes fish to stay on the line longer and makes it easier to catch fish, and a fish-shaped weather vane shaped like a fish for the player's house.

Nintendo Entertainment System games

Nearly two dozen NES games are available to collect in Animal Crossing. Animal Crossing is packaged with a memory card that gives the player two games. Others are acquired in various ways. The games available include:

Japanese Exclusives:

U.S./Europe Exclusives:

There are four NES games often referred to as the "Forbidden Four" that can only be had by using an Action Replay cheat device or an e-Reader. Ice Climber and Mario Bros. are available through both hardware devices, while Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda are only available by using an Action Replay. Previously, this was referred to as the "Forbidden Five", as the newer, Mike Tyson-free version of "Punch-Out!!" was only available by means of Action Replay until the European release, when the Nintendo of Europe website for Animal Crossing offered a code similar to the ones needed for Clu Clu Land D, Donkey Kong Jr., Donkey Kong 3, and Soccer on the American website for Animal Crossing. The code worked for U.S. copies as well. These codes were the only way of obtaining the five games.

It should be noted that Clu Clu Land D is previously unreleased outside of Japan, as it was a Famicom Disk System game. It was, however, based on the Arcade VS Clu Clu Land, as the two share some new elements. And while Excitebike, Ice Climber, and Mario Bros were given new versions for the Famicom Disk System, they don't appear as unlockables. The Famicom Disk System of Excitebike, called VS Excitebike, is heavily based of the Arcade version of the same name, adding a new VS Excite mode, but the Edit Mode is only for that. Everything else is much the same as the original, so it wasn't needed. The Famicom Disk System Ice Climber features different levels and at least one new enemy all derived from the Arcade VS Ice Climber, like Clu Clu Land did, except it shares the same name as the original NES version. The Famicom Disk System version of Mario Bros, however, was a brand new edition. It was called Return of Mario Bros., boosting from the Arcade version, with more extra features like cutscenes and a tutorial, but is mostly in Japanese and would have to be translated. This is why Gomoku Narabe and Mahjong didn't make it outside the Japanese version. They were replaced by Excitebike and Soccer for NA & PAL regions just because of the language, and these versions were made to preserve almost entirely, which means no translation would be supplied.

Advance Play is when a person links their Game Boy Advance into their GameCube to download the NES game to their handheld temporarily. For this to work, a player must download a game that does not require saving, meaning that Punchout, Legend of Zelda, and Wario's Woods cannot be played on the Game Boy Advance. Secondly, it must be a real NES game, not a Famicom Disk System game. This rules out Clu Clu Land D. All other games can be played on Advance Play, slightly stretched and lacking 2 Player.

Museum

A player may choose to visit the local museum, but will not find much there initially. The museum has rooms to house fish, insects, paintings, and fossils, but relies on the player to complete the exhibits by making donations to Blathers, the owl curator. The fish and insect rooms can be filled by catching specimens to donate. Paintings are found like other furniture. Fossils can be dug up, but must be mailed off for identification before donation.

Pattern design

File:Animal Crossing Spooky.jpg
An Animal Crossing character wearing a tailor-made shirt on Halloween.

Players can also design patterns at a tailor in the bottom layer of the village, named the Able Sisters, run by two sisters, Mabel and Sable Able, but at a cost of 350 Bells. These patterns can be used for wallpaper, umbrellas and shirts. Players can also use the Game Boy Advance, hooked up to the GameCube with a GBA-GC link cable to design for free. After a player design patterns, they can put eight of them on display at the tailor, four as shirts, and four as umbrellas. This allows other villagers to wear those patterns. If players put up signs of those patterns around town, they could get more popular. The most popular shirt and umbrella will be said by Mabel Able if one asks.

Happy Room Academy

The Happy Room Academy ("HRA") rates every part of the player's house, except the basement that the player can have built, based on a point system. Each day (Depending if the player changed their interior the previous day), they will send the player a letter informing him or her of the amount of points earned. The HRA will deduct points for the following:

  • If the player mixes different themes or series on the first floor.
  • If the player puts furniture that has a use against a wall or in a place that is inaccessible.
  • If the player puts objects like raffle tickets, tools, or trash on the ground.

The HRA will add points for the following:

  • If the player completes a furniture series, theme, or set.
  • If the wallpaper or carpet matches the series or theme.
  • If the player has the complete necessities of life (a bed, chair, dresser, etc.) from a same or different series.
  • If the player has valuable objects within his home.

Upon earning a certain number of points, two different furniture pieces from the town model set will be received.

Each gyroid in the player's house adds 825 points to the HRA score.

Shopping

While in Animal Crossing, the main way to find new items is via buying them in Tom Nook's shop. When players begin their adventure his store is an unstocked, tiny store, called Nook's Cranny. As players progress through the game Tom Nook expands his store, making it larger, with a greater daily inventory.

Nook's Cranny -

  • 1 piece of furniture
  • 1 outfit
  • 1 tool

Nook 'n' Go -

  • 2 pieces of furniture
  • 2 outfits
  • 2 tools

Nookway -

  • 4 pieces of furniture
  • 3 outfits
  • 4 tools

Nookington's -

  • 8 pieces of furniture
  • 4 outfits
  • 4 tools

Eventually, a department store is opened by the racoon, called the Nookington Department Store, which is staffed by Tom Nook and his two assistants, Tommy and Timmy.

At the end of every month Tom Nook runs a raffle, which players can enter by handing over five raffle tickets won by buying furniture over the course of month. (Items cannot be purchased on Raffle Day.)

Feng Shui

Certain furniture items in the game have the properties of feng shui. If certain coloured items are placed on certain sides of the player's house, the player will have an increased chance of finding rare items, bells, or both. The use of feung shui will also result in a higher Happy Room Academy score. Laws of feng shui that apply to the game include:

  • Orange items placed on the north side of the house, which will result in good luck in finding money and items.
  • Red items placed on the east side of the house, which will result in good luck in finding items.
  • Green items placed on the south side of the house, which will result in good luck in finding money and items.
  • Yellow items placed on the west side of the house, which will result in good luck in finding money and items.

Other items, such as trophies and items received on holidays will provide good luck in money and items regardless of placement or color.

Seasons

As Animal Crossing plays in real-time, the seasons within the game change accordingly. A number of noticeable changes occur during each of the seasons.

Spring

During Spring players can find a number of insects living in their natural habitat. This season includes a fair amount of holidays including the Cherry festival.

Summer

Summer is when players can find the most insects buzzing about. Occasionaly, one can find a tent set up by a villager. If one talks to a villager, the player plays a game with him/her. Sometimes villagers will give the player a summer related item such as a campfire.

Autumn

During Autumn, the leaves start to fall off and the grass starts to become dormant for the year. There are several holidays in this season including Thanksgiving and Halloween.

Winter

During Winter, snow falls and blankets rooftops, trees, and the ground itself. Small snowballs form randomly on the ground, and when these are pushed by players they can make snowmen. This is also when Jingle comes around to give the children their Christmas presents. Several of the villagers also build igloos at this time of year, allowing players to play games with the inhabitants. Sometimes the villager will give the player the infamous "DUMMY" item. (see Secrets-DUMMY below) Also, villagers will give the player a winter related item such as a snow bunny.

Secrets

Each day one of the rocks inside the town will carry bells. If you hit the rock with your shovel 7 times in a row, you will be given increased amounts of bells with each hit.

Magic Rock

Daily, one randomly chosen rock in the village will spout money every time it is hit by a player's shovel or axe. To find this special rock, the player must search for it by hitting all rocks in the village. When the correct rock is struck, Bells fly out and the rock turns red. The player can keep hitting the rock to get exponentially larger amounts of Bells, even up to 10,000 Bells. After a little while, to indicate that the effect will cease and the bright red coloring of the rock will slowly fade. The sound one hears when one hits it several times in a row is the 1-Up Mushroom sound from Super Mario Bros.

Golden Tools

When one completes certain objectives, one can receive special versions of the four tools in the game.

  • Golden Rod: catch all fish. It makes rare fish, such as the coelacanth appear more often. It also makes catching any fish much easier.
  • Golden Net. catch all insects. The golden net makes rare bugs appear more often. The net's opening is also much larger, making it easier to catch insects.
  • Golden Shovel: buy two shovels, and bury one in a glowing patch of dirt. A tree with golden leaves will sprout and, when fully grown, a golden shovel will fall out of it if it is shaken. It will allow the player to sometimes find money bags when digging holes.
  • Golden Axe: keep the town perfect (according to the Wishing Well) for two weeks and a day, then go and see the Wishing Well again. The spirit at the well will give the player this axe. It will never break.

K.K.'s Hidden Songs

Certain songs can only be accessed by specifically requesting K.K. to play them. To access these songs, ask K.K. to play K.K. Song (the theme to Mario Paint), Two Days Ago, or I Love You. Upper and lower case are significant.

Common Bugs

====DUMMY====
File:Image1.jpeg
A picture of the DUMMY item (the white triangle)

Around Winter, villagers will start to make igloos around town. Sometimes villagers will make bets with the player. If a villager asks the player to pick a bag and they are able to buy the item inside, the villager may give an item to the player titled "DUMMY". It is a white triangle that has the word "dummy" written on it in katakana. It can only be obtained in this manner and it counts as furniture. The "DUMMY" is worth no HRA points, and it is said that if one places it outside one's house or inventory, things may start to vanish in one's town. The item was most likely used in early alpha or beta testing to check if the user was able to correctly interact with objects and the environment, and was mostly removed from the game once the testing was complete.

Note: By using the Action Replay disc, when one of the "Item in Slot 1 is..." cheats is selected, the item will physically appear to be the dummy item, but it has the other item's attributes, such as price, log NUM, and memory space.

====Missing Face====
File:Image2.jpeg
Missing Face Screenshot

A person's character has one of eight pairs of eyes selected when a player starts the game based on the answers they give Rover to certain questions. However, if people leave their village, save their game to a second memory card, and start the first game again, without the second memory card, their character will have no eyes nor mouth textures. This is because their character's eye and mouth texture data has been stored on the second card, so the game, located on the first memory card, does not know what the textures are, resulting in the "missing face." This does not affect gameplay, however, as people can play normally with no face texture.

Multiplayer

There are several types of multiplayer gameplay in Animal Crossing.

In the first, up to four players can create their own houses in a single village. No two players can play at the same time, but by taking turns they can each affect the village in their own ways, communicate with each other via the town board and mail, and share in the experiences of the village.

In the second, by connecting two memory cards with Animal Crossing save data to a GameCube, a player can use his or her character to visit another player's village. Because no two villages are exactly alike, this allows players to visit different villagers and collect more items.

In the third, two players can play NES games together. All that this requires is two controllers and a compatible NES game (keep in mind that not all of the NES games have the two-player option). Once the controllers are in the players are able to select the NES game they want to play. Once the game is started, players can select the two-player option and start playing multiplayer.

A fourth type of multiplayer play consists of trading items with another player using a system of codes. By specifying the name of another player and the name of their village, a player can "trade" an item, generating a code which the other player can input to retrieve the item.

Tropical Island

In Animal Crossing, each town has its own tropical island. One can access it by plugging in one's Game Boy Advance to Gamecube Link Cable and going to the southeastern part of town where the dock is. Players will meet a kappa known as Kapp'n (take off on captain and a Japanese imp called a kappa) there, waiting for the player inside a tiny little row boat. Speak with him and he will ask the player if he or she would like to take a trip to the island. By saying yes he will row the player off to the island while singing love songs and songs about cucumbers. Arriving at the island one will see a new animal roaming the tiny island and can become friends with him/her. One can even knock down coconuts, decorate one's own little beach house and fish at the shores. By staying there for a long period of time, players will get a tan. With an Action Replay and a copy of the NTSC American version of the game, it is possible to access it without the Game Boy Advance with the cheat that enables one to jump.

Item Trading

Animal Crossing features a popular Offline Item Send & Receive feature. Through the use of codes customised by Player and Town name, players can transfer certain items to each other. It is also possible to get special gifts from Nintendo with special Universal codes.

Important Figures in the Village

  • Tom Nook: (racoon) the shopkeeper.
  • Tommy and Timmy: Tom Nook's helpers who work at his shop when he upgrades his shop to Nookington's department store.
  • Tortimer: (tortoise) the mayor.
  • Copper: (dog) the police man who keeps an eye out on the village by telling the player about special guests before they arrive and, when visiting another village, he gives the player a map of the village they are visiting. He also teaches aerobics for the sports fairs from July 25 to August 31 from 6 AM to 7 AM.
  • Booker: (pug dog)the policeman who is in charge of lost items.
  • Pelly: (pelican) the friendly daytime (7:00 AM to 7:00 PM) clerk of the post office.
  • Phyllis: (pelican) the grumpy nighttime (7:00 PM to 7:00 AM) clerk of the post office.
  • Pete: the mail delivery pelican. At 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, the player can talk to him in front of the town bulletin board.
  • Blathers: (owl) the sleepy, museum curator.
  • Blanca: can be seen riding on the train. When she asks to sit with the player, he or she ends up telling her that her face is washed off, therefore drawing her another face.
  • Kapp'n: the kappa who operates the boat to the island.
  • Sable and Mabel: (hedgehogs) the owners of the Able Sisters tailor shop.
  • Sow Joan: the pig who comes around every Sunday morning to sell turnips, which can be sold to Tom Nook for more or less than the player paid. (Turnip speculation is one of the most profitable ways to make money in Animal Crossing).
  • K.K. Slider (Totakeke): the singing musician who comes around every Saturday night to play music in front of the train station. The player can have him play for him or her. They can also request any one of his 55 songs. His name is reminiscent of the Animal Crossing music composer, Kazumi Totaka.
  • Gulliver: a seagull who washes up on shore once a week and gives the player an item, usually a model of an item from a foreign country.
  • Crazy Redd: a fox, owner of the black market which comes around town occasionally. He usually sells things one can find at Tom Nook's shop, but has rare items for sale once in a while.
  • Wendell: a hungry walrus who gives out rare wallpaper if the player gives him a fish.
  • Gracie: a giraffe who is known for fashion. If the player cleans her car well, he or she can receive a rare piece of clothing.
  • Saharah: a camel who sells rare carpets.
  • Katrina: a fortune teller who gives readings for the price of 50 Bells. The readings have 24-hour effects, such as love (animals of the opposite gender will fall in love with the player) or bad luck (the player will trip and fall occasionally while running).
  • Wisp: a ghost who comes out during the night from 12 AM to 4 AM. He gives the player furniture, gets rid of all the weeds in the player's village, or repaints the roof of the player's house.
  • Mr. Resetti: a mole who comes if the player resets Animal Crossing and tells him or her to refrain from resetting. He is also the town "groundhog," who is used during the Groundhog Day festivities. Speculation suggests his name comes from the term reset, Mr. Resetti. According to Don, his brother, his first name is really "Sonny".
  • Don Resetti: Mr. Resetti's brother. He is calmer than his brother and appears after one resets a few times. Like his brother, he wears a hardhat and holds a pick-axe. His name possibly takes after "Don't Reset", similar to his brother.
  • Chip: the beaver who hosts the summer and fall fishing tourneys.
  • Porter: the monkey who is the train conductor and train driver.
  • The villagers: ranging from a wide variety of animal species and personality types. For male animals, there are three, generally described as "jock," "grumpy," and "sleepy," and for female animals, there are also three, generally described as "nice," "hyper," and "snobby."

Using the Game Boy Advance

Game Boy Advance connectivity can play a role in Animal Crossing for those who own one. To link the two, one needs a Game Boy Advance-GameCube cable.

The island

When the two systems are linked, Kapp'n can be found at the dock and will row the player to the island, where a villager has taken up residence. The player can give the villager items in return for money and other commodities. Also on the island are coconut trees, and this is the only place they can be found. It is always summer on the island, and only summer fish and insects can be caught there. When the player leaves the island, he or she can choose the option of transferring the island to his or her Game Boy Advance and interact with the islander as a minigame for in-game rewards.

e-Reader compatibility

Animal Crossing is compatible with the e-Reader. One can use e-Reader cards to get new items, including NES games, a new town tune, or a shirt design.

Other Animal Crossing games

Animal Forest e+

This game is an improved version of Animal Forest +, adding many features from the English version, Animal Crossing, and some new features found only in this version. Some of the new features include:

  • New town monuments, fish, insects, and villagers.
  • The ability to hold flowers.
  • Villagers' tasks have been re-designed.
  • Medicine which can cure bee stings, or can be given to ill villagers.
  • New furniture and themes.
  • The ability to use Animal Forest + (Dōbutsu no Mori +) and Animal Forest e+ (Dōbutsu no Mori e+) e-Reader cards at the Wishing Well to control which villagers appear in the town.
  • The ability to shop at night.
  • A way to visit Mr. Resetti.

Animal Crossing: Wild World

A Nintendo DS sequel, Animal Crossing: Wild World borrows many of the same characteristics of its predecessor on the GameCube, with slight improvements. Most notable is the game's ability to utilize the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection for online play. It has many of the features of Animal Forest e+.

Animal Crossing Revolution

An untitled Animal Crossing game is in development for the Nintendo Revolution. It is unknown if this game will be able to connect to Wild World.

Trivia

  • One of the rarest fish in the game, the coelacanth, is also one of the rarest fish on Earth.
  • Three Animal Crossing game trophies are available in Super Smash Bros. Melee: Tom Nook, Totakeke, and Mr. Resetti. The characters were listed as being from a future release, as Super Smash Bros. Melee was released before Animal Crossing in the United States.
  • Elements from Animal Crossing also appear in Daigasso! Band Brothers, WarioWare: Twisted! and Pikmin 2.
  • Because the game file is very small, the entire game is loaded into memory from the very start of the game. One can open the disc cover and take out the Animal Crossing disc while playing the game without experiencing any gameplay issues.
  • The European release was significantly delayed. Translation issues are one reason for the delays, as Animal Crossing was translated into 7 additional languages. Nintendo later promised Europe that "we are not going to be two years late, as we were with Animal Crossing on GameCube, on any other products."1
  • The Australian release of the game is the only PAL version to have E-reader support as it is a direct port of the U.S version and was released much earlier than its European counterpart.
  • There is absolutely no connection between these games and the anime and manga series Animal Yokocho, although the title "Animal Crossing" was used for that series in some early English-languages articles.
  • In the Japanese version of the game, "gyroids" are called haniwa, after a kind of archeological artifact native to Japan.
  • The two lovers from Majora's Mask make a slight appearance. Anju and Kafei's shirt can be obtained in the game.

External links

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This page was last modified on 7 August 2011, at 18:45.
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