No new show this week. Instead I’ve uploaded a collection of my earlier shows that have never been re-released, including the very first show I ever did . It’s pretty loose and rough around the edges but you can hear my  timely thoughts on Halo 2 , Pocket PC and more for about 11 minutes. Proceed at your own risk.

The rest of the collection has some pretty awesome moments, like Corporeal’s performance that opened our 2007 E3 Show (track 3 below),  the exclusive interview with Ken Levine where he announces the original Bioshock Demo that surprised everyone in August of 2007 (track 29)  Marty O’Donnell’s conversation about game audio in Halo 3 (track 38) and my interview with Ridley Scott (track 28) just to name a few.

So here it is…MNR – The early years Volume 1. Enjoy.

Note: Since I am sharing this collection on Soundcloud, this collection will not appear in iTunes like the weekly shows, so you’ll have to manage the download manually.

You asked for more Claptrap sounds, and our friends at Gearbox Software have delivered once again. Below find 34 clips taken directly from the master files used in Borderlands 2. That means they sound great and make great notifications sounds your mobile or PC. Enjoy,

Update: I’ve added a .ZIP of all the files on my Skydrive

Note: These audio clips are provided for personal, non-commercial use only

Here is a link to the last set they gave me to share.

24 hours are gone and so are we. $5,333 raised for Seattle Children’s Hospital. Thank you all!

Hi, everyone! It’s e (@thevowel) here. As you may have heard on the podcast, I’m participating in Extra Life again this year. If you aren’t familiar with it, Extra Life is a gaming marathon in support of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

In less than 48 hours I’ll be kicking off 24-hours of gaming to raise money for Seattle Children’s Hospital.

I’ll be streaming the whole way on so that you can watch – and join the chat and mock my skills or lack thereof. We’re also going to embed the stream right here on

We’ve already raised $937 $1,154 $1,701 $2,039 $3,214 $4,581, but I’m shooting for $5,000 this year!


Watch live video from thevowel on

Sponsor part of the marathon!

For $100 you can pick an Xbox 360 game that I have and I’ll play it for 30 minutes. I’ve got most of the Xbox 360 games released in the US so there’s a good chance that I can play your favorite game – or the game that you’d like to see me suffer through! Want me to play it for another 30 minutes? Double your previous donation – $100 for the first 30 minutes, $200 for the next 30, etc. -and I’ll do it. Note: I’m not going to play Kinect games – I’m committed to playing for 24 hours, and if you have me playing Dance Central for hours on end I’ll collapse long before that.

We’ve already got some time sponsored:

8-9AM: Borderlands 2 (thank you Kristy & Randy Pitchford!)

9-9:30AM: Avatar: The Last Airbender (thank you @keithkline!)

NEW: 9:30-10AM: Banjo-Kazooie XBLA (thx @taskbaarchitect!)

NEW: 10-11AM: TBD (thx @kudakeru!)

NEW: 11-11:30: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (thx Sang Hong!)

NEW: 11:30-12: NCAA Football 2013 (thx Kevin Brumit!)

NEW: Noon-12:30: Viva Pinata (thx Jared Sartin!)

NEW: 12:30-1: Earth Defense Force: IA (thx Michael Bowen!)

NEW: 1-1:30: Kameo (thx Matt Richenburg!)

NEW: 1:30-2: Skylanders! (thx Peter Rysavy!)

Sponsor me! It’s for the kids!


Rewards for donations!

Thanks to some very generous friends I’ve got the following rewards to share:

For the next 50 donations of $10 or more:

Halo 4 Infinity Campaign Themes (thanks 343!)

For the next 10 donations of $25 or over:

Xbox LIVE Gold 1-Month codes (thanks Xbox LIVE!)

For the next 40 donations of $50 or over:

Your choice of Minecraft, Trials Evolution, Deadlight, & Joe Danger 2 – there’s 10 of each, so donate now for first choice! (thanks PlayXBLA!)

For the next 10 donations of $100 or over:

Borderlands 2 Season Passes (thanks Gearbox & 2KGames!)

Help the kids and get yourself something nice while you’re at it! Let me know what reward you’d like when you make your donation!


On behalf of the kids – THANK YOU!

I had originally posted these when Borderlands launched in 2010, but with the release of Borderlands 2, they’re still relevant.

I think 13 and 15 are my favorites – what about you?

BTW: You can download the original game directly from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace

Note: These audio clips are provided for personal, non-commercial use only!

[ 💬 Larry Hryb ] @majornelson

More @majornelson on Twitter

PAX Prime in Seattle kicks off later this week, and Xbox will be there in a big way. Be sure to stop by our booth [#412] where we will have yet-to-be-released titles spanning console, Kinect, PC and mobile. Don’t miss playing every single one of Microsoft Studios’ major core franchises – including the most anticipated title of 2012, Halo 4 – some of our highlighted XBLA titles and the hottest content from our third-party publishing partners – all in one place!

In addition to playing some of holiday’s upcoming blockbusters, you can get a sneak peek at some of the new Xbox Games on Windows 8 from Microsoft Studios, and check out the amazing creativity of our independent developer community as part of the Dream.Build.Play competition.

Here is what you’ll find when you visit the Xbox Booth #412 at PAX Prime this year:

Halo 4
Get up close and personal with Halo 4’s fast-paced and addictive multiplayer!  Everyday we’ll rotate through an exclusive selection of maps, game modes, and never-before-seen content that we know you’ll love to get hands-on time with!  Hone your Halo skills, play with (or against) your friends, and see what innovations in store for you when Halo 4’s launches on November 6th.  In the meantime, go behind the scenes to check out how this masterpiece was made in The Magic of Halo 4.

Forza Horizon
Come get hands-on with the “best racing game” of E3 according to Electronic Gaming Magazine. In Forza Horizon, you get the freedom of the open road, high intensity action and moment to moment gameplay surrounded by a festival atmosphere, all set to the hottest music curated by one of the world’s biggest DJ’s. Forza Horizon is speed, style and parties on the open road, and can be yours come October 23rd.

Gears of War: Judgment **Updated**
Debuting and playable this week at PAX Prime in Seattle is the new multiplayer experience Free-For-All, recently revealed in a cover story in OXM. FFA throws team tactics out the window as each player battles for survival and kills versus all other players. This highly anticipated prequel to the Gears of War saga hits March 19, 2013. Not excited yet? Revisit our E3 trailer, start up your lancer and we’ll see you at PAX Prime.

Fable: The Journey
All the power and the magic are in your hands with Fable: The Journey, launching October 9th. Come see what all the fuss is about, from the deep storyline to the heart-pounding action all set in the picturesque world of Albion that fans have come to know and love in the “Fable” franchise. Some lucky folks will walk off not only blow away by the fun to be had with Fable: The Journey, but also with a token for a Fable avatar t-shirt! Kill time between now and PAX by checking out the newest video documentary called “Telling the Tale.”

Xbox LIVE Arcade
We’ll also have the newest Xbox LIVE Arcade games from Microsoft Studios. Be sure to check out the open world zombie-survival game, State of Decay; free-to-play title, Happy Wars; follow-up to the smash success, Crash Course 2; and multiplayer racing sensation, Avatar Motocross Madness.

Resident Evil 6
Come play the latest Resident Evil 6 demo at PAX 2012. Featuring 3 separate scenarios to choose from you can try to escape the infected Ivy University campus as Leon S. Kennedy, tackle a building size B.O.W. with Chris Redfield, or clear out the J’avo infested streets of Lanshiang, China as Jake Muller.  Blending action and survival horror, Resident Evil 6 promises to be the dramatic horror experience of 2012.

Tomb Raider
Lara Croft has already proven herself to be a survivor after escaping a violent shipwreck onto a mysterious island and a disorienting underground encounter where a tribe of island inhabitants tried to capture her. Get hands-on with Tomb Raider as Lara takes her first steps on the island, discovers a lifeline in the form of her iconic bow, and sets out to find her shipwrecked friends.

FIFA Soccer 13
Winner of the prestigious E3 Game Critics award for “Best Sports Game”, FIFA Soccer 13 captures the unpredictability of real-world football, ensuring no two matches play the same. The game features breakthrough gameplay innovations that create a true battle for possession across the entire pitch and deliver freedom and creativity in attack, as well as engaging online features and live services that connect fans to the heartbeat of the sport—and to each other—through EA SPORTS Football Club. FIFA Soccer 13 is Football’s Social Network, where fans connect, compete and share with millions of others around the world.

Dream.Build.Play 2012 Challenge
Dream.Build.Play is Microsoft’s global competition that challenges independent game developers to create new and innovative games for Xbox 360 and new this year, games for Windows Phone.  With over 350 entries from 42 countries, this year’s competition was tougher than ever.  Stop by the Dream.Build.Play station to find out who took home the top honors as we showcase the top four Xbox 360 and top four Windows Phone winners.  Winners of the Dream.Build.Play competition will share $112,500 in cash prizes and have the opportunity to become part of the Registered Developer Program (RDP). 
Check out our top 40 finalists!

PAX Panels and events

Saturday Morning Xbox Community Meet Up
Don’t miss it! Read complete details on this post

Friday evening:

I’ll be participating in two sessions of GAME SHOW NIGHT! At 7pm I’ll be a guest on Blankety Blank and then at 9pm, a member of the audience (it could be you!) and I will team up against Sony’s Sid Shuman and a member of the audience in Super Password!

Xbox Panels

Halo Reborn
Pegasus Theatre
Saturday, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
343 Industries discusses the evolution of the Halo franchise and the challenges and opportunities Halo 4 presents in innovating within the beloved Halo universe. Join the creators, artists and designers of Halo 4 as they show off some of those evolutions and reveal even more secrets and features of the weapons, vehicles, gameplay and characters that you’ll see when this legendary franchise returns.

Major Nelson Radio: Live!
Kraken Theatre
Saturday, 1:30 – 2:30
That’s right…we’re dong it live. Join me, e, lollip0p and special guests for an hour of pandemonium with ‘Team Dysfunction.’  Note: This will be streamed LIVE to the PAX Channel on Twitch.

Plus, members of the Xbox LIVE enforcement team will be on the Harassment and Bullying in Online Games: Technical Solutions v1.0 and Queers in Gaming panels. Stop by if you want to learn more about either of these topics

General PAX Info
Friday, August 31 – 9:00 am to 6 pm (press only until 10:00 am)
Saturday, September 1 – 10:00 am to 6 pm
Sunday, September 2 – 10:00 am to 6 pm

See the PAX website for extended event hours and other evening activities.

Sleeping DogsContent: Sleeping Dogs Game Demo
Price: Free
Availability: Check availability in your Xbox LIVE region
Dash Text: Welcome to Hong Kong, a vibrant and sprawling metropolis. As undercover cop Wei Shen, you are tasked with infiltrating and taking down a Triad empire from within. Keep your cover intact and navigate between your duty to the badge and the code of honor of the triads. Download the demo now to experience a sneak peek at the brutal martial arts combat, exhilarating free-running, and intense gunfights offered by Sleeping Dogs.

Add the demo to your Xbox 360 download queue

Like the demo? Purchase the full game

…and right now Major’s on a plane somewhere over the Pacific. Without internet access. I’m pretty sure he said something about my keeping an eye on the blog while he’s gone, too.

Now, I don’t know about you but in my opinion “keeping an eye on the blog” means “talk about whatever you want”. I’m not quite sure that’s what Maj had in mind, but he’s on a plane without internet access right now.

Say hello to my dog Cthulhu:

Happy Cthulhu is happy.

He’s a Labrador Retriever/Rottweiler mix, and he’s 80 pounds of solid muscle. He was a rescue, and he’s about 2.5 years old. There’s nothing in the world he loves more than fetching a tennis ball out of a lake, river, or ocean.

I’ve also got two cats, one of whom just turned 18 – but that’s another blog post.


Who else is looking forward to Spelunky on XBLA tomorrow? I haven’t played it yet, but it looks AWESOME.

Summer Stars 2012Content: Summer Stars 2012 Demo
Price: Free
Availability: Check availability in your Xbox LIVE Region
Dash Text: Whether playing solo in the expansive career mode or competing with friends in the addictive four player multiplayer modes, Summer Stars 2012 brings you an exciting arcade-style sporting experience. Take on a huge variety of summer sports and special challenges and see if you’ve got what it takes to bring home the gold this summer!

Add the demo to your Xbox 360 download queue

Note: You’ll need a Kinect sensor to play this demo