“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”
You can thank Edgar Allen Poe for that quote and for subsequently bringing down the house. But I thought it was fitting, given that for this feature I’d like to focus on the notion of addiction, particularly in regards to video games.
There are a slew of medical professionals working their tails off trying to determine whether video games can cause a disorder more addictive than smoking, alcohol, or gambling. So far, they’ve come up snake eyes — there is simply not enough “sufficient” evidence to determine whether video game overuse is an addiction. Continue reading “How Video Games Helped Me Overcome Video Game Addiction” »
I have to say I was pretty excited when I heard that their was a team working on re-imagining the original Road Rash franchise. After all, Road Rash was one of the most iconic games of the late 90′s, and before the likes of sandbox games GTA, Sleeping Dogs, etc. brought vehicular combat to motorcycle games in a way that had never been seen before.
Now the team at DarkSeas Games has the ambitious task of bringing this project to life, and with merely days to go, is nearing it’s $160,000 goal.
EA (the original developer of the game) spoke in 2011 about rebooting the franchise, saying that “we can’t just put them on new tech with the same gameplay from ten years ago, we’ve got to have something new.” The original Road Rash creator also said he was “ready” to make a new Road Rash on Reddit earlier this year. While he’s not part of the DarkSeas team, he did say he want the project to “get funded” and that he “wanted to play it.”
Based on the kickstarter page, Road Redemption will offer new weapons, a combat system that includes counters and parries, and a number of multiplayer missions.
We had a moment to ask the DarkSeas team a few more in-depth questions in regards to how they plan on bringing Road Rage to life in “Road Redemption.” Continue reading “How “Road Rage Redemption” Plans To Bring “Road Rage” Back To Life” »
In 1973, a man named Bob Jamison put together a computer program aimed at teaching kids economics and the basics of building your own business. The game was called Lemonade Stand, and is widely regarded as one of the first educational video games.
Less than a decade later, Math Blaster landed on computers, allowing kids to control a spaceship while learning basic to advanced math skills. Oregon Trail and Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego were also born, as was the genre of educational video games.
Fast forward to 2013, where the earliest iteration of video games maintain their nostalgia, but have given way to a new breed of educational gaming systems with ambitions beyond being “fun breaks” in the curriculum.
The so-called “Godfather of video games”, Nolan Bushnell (whose company Atari was created around the same time as “Lemonade Stand) has begun his own endeavor to turn video games into a vital educational tool with his new company BrainRush. Another company, Qwizdom, has been in the business of using video games and interactive technology to enhance learning in the classroom for years. Continue reading “From The Inner City To Private Schools, How Video Games Can Help Solve U.S. Educational Problems” »
It was a good year to be Activision CEO Bobby Kotick in 2012 (at least if you’re into money and stuff). It was released this week that Kotick will pocket $64.9 million for his efforts at the game company responsible for Call of Duty (and that owns) Diablo, WoW and Starcraft.
Kotick is often painted as the Monty Burns of the video game industry, not in that he was once shot by a baby with a pacifier, rather that he seems to care about nothing else other than money. There is something of a kicker to all of this, the payments for Kotick are laid out over five years and are tied to certain goals for company performance (my guess is at least one live action COD trailer a year).
This would put Kotick just behind Oracle CEO Larry Ellison ($96 million) as one of the highest paid CEO’s in the United States, let alone the game industry. Continue reading “How Much Money Do Video Game Executives Make? You Don’t Want to Know” »
A research team at the University of Missouri found that indivudals with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) were more drawn to screen based media like gaming and TV, and thus could be more inclined to develop ”addictive patterns to video games.”
“We found that children with ASD spent much more time playing video games than typically developing children, and they are much more likely to develop problematic or addictive patterns of video game play.”
Several media outlets decided to run with their own headlines, claiming that the report not only indicated a pre-occupation with video games but “compulsive behavior”, however there still is no direct correlation between being “drawn to screen based media” and developing “addictive patterns of gameplay”. I decided to go one step further and see if there was any empirical evidence to support the link between autism (which is diagnosed in roughly 5 out of every 1,000 kids in the U.S.) and excessive video game playing. Continue reading “New Study Links Autism with “Video Game Addiction”, Here’s What We Need To Keep In Mind” »
“The true mission of the violin is to imitate the accents of the human voice, a noble mission that has earned for the violin the glory of being called the king of instruments” - Charles-Auguste de Beriot
There are some who believe that the violin is the most difficult instrument to play; move your finger a centimeter off the mark and you’re playing an entirely different note. Bend your elbow too much (or not enough) and the bow will slide off the strings and give nails on a chalkboard a run for its money.
But it’s more than the degree of difficulty that draws people to the violin: the violin continues to be a literal bridge between music and so many art forms that inspire our decisions and provide us an escape.
In the video game community, the violin has added longevity and helped us to re-imagine our favorite gaming moments. Taylor Davis (YouTube: ViolinTay) has channeled her passion and love for video games into the violin, to the tune of 23 million views and 160,000 subscribers.
I found out in our my INTERVIEW with Taylor that she started playing the violin in elementary school and assumed it would just be something to keep in her life as an escape or hobby as she pursued a possible business career. But the ability to connect video games with the violin has allowed her to become a full-time musician, a person who doesn’t always need a controller to enjoy gaming.
Naturally I had a number of questions to ask her — here’s our EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Taylor Davis: Continue reading “How Taylor Davis’ Violin Is Capturing The Gaming World” »
There are some who believe tere is nothing that can be done about bullying – perhaps because until the internet and/or movies, they didn’t know exactly how bad of a problem bullying was? Or perhaps for whatever reason, they just didn’t want to take on the issue?
The good news is that a recently published book by author Emily Bazelon has given us an extensive look at the complications of dealing with bullies, and even more importantly, SOLUTIONS on how to solve the issue. The book is called Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Re-Discovering the Power of Character and Empathy. I stumbled onto the book not long after seeing clips from the film “Bully”, where I was left staring at a blank screen long after the film’s credits had wrapped, recalling the times I’d been made fun of in the past. Continue reading “If You Suffer From Bullying and Are Looking For Help, You Should Read This Book” »
A customer was offered a full refund for his copy of Bioshock Infinite this week, after the man claimed he was unable to play it due to a conflict with his religious beliefs. The gentleman stated:
“As baptism of the Holy spirit is at the center of Christianity–of which I am a devout believer–I am basically being forced to make a choice between committing extreme blasphemy by my actions in choosing to accept this ‘choice’ or forced to quit playing the game before it even really starts.”
Steam (Valve), the site where the customer purchased the PC copy of the title, granted his request.
For those not privy, the “baptism” occurs at the beginning of Bioshock Infinite, where the character the player is controlling, Booker DeWitt, has his head dunked into water and accepts his baptism. The player has no choice but to choose to be baptized, as we later find out, this is a central element to the storyline of the game. Continue reading “When Should Gamers Be Entitled To a Refund On Their Video Game?” »
Believe it or not, EA’s iconic Madden franchise will turn 25 this year, commemorated in the “2014″ version of the game being dubbed Madden 25. But the NCAA Football franchise continues to be a staple all of its own, becoming more than a primer for the Madden Franchise and delivering a unique experience that only the college game can encapsulate. EA’s NCAA football franchise was technically founded in 1994, although it adopted its current “NCAA Football” moniker in 1998 (originally it was “Bill Walsh Football” until it was in the grasp of EA Tiburon).
This week, fans received a look at the presentation of the game, which includes 500 new sequences running in between plays, chatter from players on the defensive side of the ball to help you feel like you’re even more involved in the game (if it’s in the game…), and a half-time show to make you feel even more like a rock-star.
Fans also got a look at the revamped gameplay of NCAA Football 2014 earlier this month, one that utilizes the same Infinity 2 Engine that Madden 13 broke in last year. With an increasing number of NFL fans starting to peak in on Saturday football and networks like ESPN/ABC recently spending over $5 billion to broadcast games, the pressure is on EA and gameplay designer Larry Richart to deliver a game that matches the rise of college football’s popularity. Continue reading “EA Sports Is Taking Some Huge Steps Forward With NCAA Football 2014” »
Should you go to game design school? Is game design school really necessary to acquiring a job in the video game industry? These are questions a number of our fans have asked us in the past, and given the increased popularity of video games, they certainly are viable. We sought to answer these questions, asking a Master’s student at The University of Southern California’s Interactive Media Division, which many believe is the premier school for interactive and video game design in the country. We also consulted a professor of video game design at DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media, also widely regarded as one of the nation’s top “video game design schools.” They provided the following answers below and a perspective to whether video game design school may be right for you.
Evan Sforza is a master’s student going on his 3rd year at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, even though he began his undergraduate studies in pre-med. He says, “…when I had started college, it wasn’t apparent that working in games was even possible. But, I’d always loved Bungie’s Halo, and still do, and one day I had actually decided to check Bungie’s job section on their website.” Continue reading “Is Video Game Design School Right For You?” »
Most people on Twitch know Angel Hamilton by his handle, zilianOP. He loved to stream games from his wheelchair, and has reportedly taken donations from those who assumed he was a disabled streaming what he loved.
This was until he decided to stand up and get out of his wheelchair, mid-stream, something many of his donors/supporters were under the assumption he was unable to do. It led to the creation of the Diablowned website, where it is reported zillianOP was able to raise over $20,000 to buy himself a new wheelchair and move across the country to be with his girlfriend.
Here’s a transcript of the (not-so-elaborate) cover up between zillianOP’s girlfriend and fans, after they saw zillianOP stand up and get out of his wheelchair: Continue reading “AbleGamers Respond to Gamer Faking Disability on Twitch” »
“Getting through a station in the metro is a test of survival, not just a test of your combat skills…Humanity is too blind to see where salvation lies.”
It is the year 2013 — if we were living in the world of Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky, we would be in the heart of a nuclear holocaust. Glukhovsky’s international bestselling novel, Metro 2033, takes place 20 years after a nucelur explosion nearly wipes out humanity, and became the foundation for THQ’s FPS, Metro 2033.
Metro 2033′s atmosphere will remind some of Bioshock (and for the Ukrainian gamers) S.T.A.L.K.E.R Shadow of Chernobyl and the horror will draw parallels to what Dead Space consistently delivers. With this, Metro 2033 still stood out on its own, (albeit with a few bugs). Its “karma based system” was the foundation for a game where every action, be it moral or physical, had consequences — looking at your compass meant putting your weapon down, which made you exposed to possible attack, and not cleaning the filter on your gas mask resulted in game over. Continue reading “Exclusive Interview: What Fans Can Expect From METRO: LAST LIGHT” »
After battling through snakes, scorpions, and four “giant” bosses, she beat the game. And then she said yes.
A redditor by the name of Marchaka posted this self reddit:
Marchaka says the game took him 164 hours to build for his girlfriend Michele, using the RPG game making software RPG Maker VX Ace. Marchaka says he knows some coding, but said it would have taken him years and “probably 18.5 cases of mountain dew code red” to build the game from scratch. He was kind enough to show us the ins and outs of the game and allow us to download the game here. Continue reading “Gamer Proposes to His Girlfriend…Using Final Fantasy Inspired Video Game” »
Battlefield 4 recently showed off 17 minutes of gameplay footage, but the reaction wasn’t that the campaign still looks like it’s trying to emulate Call of Duty, it’s that the multi-player may or may not have 64 vs. 64 (many people simply referred to the game’s single player as a “bonus”).
At GDC this past month, Gears of War Executive Producer Rod Ferguson did a talk on “designing compelling achievements”, the focus was on using achievements to unlock ideal behaviors and guide players through a game like its “cheese through a maze”. He also commented that Gears of War has a very good completion rate, around 48% of the players that pick up Gears finish the single player. Not bad number when you consider 25% of the people who bought Gears of War 3 never even touched the single player. Continue reading “Do Video Game Endings Even Matter, Anymore? Why Some Players Don’t Finish Games and What Developers Are Doing About It” »
The world lost its most beloved and widely recognized movie critic today. Roger Ebert passed away at 70 years old. Ebert leaves behind an endless legacy of unforgettable insights that will guide our taste for the arts, and spark millions of conversations for years on after.
But most of all, Roger Ebert taught us that opinions matter.
It’s something that is not lost in our community, one that is predicated upon the careful analysis and critiquing of video games. As some of you may or may not know, Roger Ebert was a man who was often branded as something of an opponent to the video game community, after he publicly stated that “video games are not art.” He later went on to redact the statement and say this as a response to over 4,000 “angry gamers” who took offense to his accustation:
I should not have written that entry without being more familiar with the actual experience of video games. Continue reading “How We In The Video Game Community Will Remember Roger Ebert” »
Jurassic Park 3D is getting a nationwide release this weekend, being put on display for 2,777 theaters from sea to shining sea.
While the film makes its glorious return to the silver screen twenty years later (in stunning anaglyph), this 3-minute mash-up is a nice primer to the theatrical re-release of one of the greatest adventure films of all time.
It’s dubbed “That’s Chaos” and was put together by “Dr. Ian Malcolm” using samples entirely from the original Jurassic Park. Continue reading “Jurassic Park Goes Dubstep in Incredible Mash-Up Music Video” »
Greatness is a funny thing. Those who embody it seem to scoff at their own achievements and those who want it seemingly have no idea where to start or how to move forward with their pursuits.
Nolan Bushnell, the founder of gaming company Atari and oft dubbed as “The Father of Video Games” has a new book that is a must read for someone who would consider themselves as pursuing greatness. For the first time in recent memory, a man who has immortalized greatness in the video game industry offers us pearls of wisdom that not only define greatness, but lessons on how to obtain it. Continue reading “Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell Has a New Book, And This Is Why You Need To Read It” »
1) Playstation 3 may have just surpassed the XBOX 360
I’ll skip the traditional XBOX/PS3 fanboy arguments and cut right to the chase, The Last of Us presents yet another PS3 exclusive that the 360 seemingly has no answer for. For every Halo, Gears, Dust and Fable, there is a Journey, Uncharted, Killzone, MLB: The Show, God of War, Gran Turismo (5), Metal Gear Solid, Infamous, Ni No Kuni, and now what looks like it could be the Game of The Year in The Last of Us.
Ask yourself what you are missing by not having an XBOX 360 and then ask yourself that same question with the PS3. Based on the GAMES alone, PS3 is looking like something you can’t live without. We’re not sure if we can say the same thing about the 360 given its recent titles. Continue reading “6 Things I Learned From THE LAST OF US Gameplay Trailer” »
Westerners might not be privy to the fact that China has a ban on the import of video game consoles, a restriction that’s been in place for 13 years and has all but prevented game players the opportunity to play the AAA games we enjoy in the states and the rest of the globe.
China has gone on record as calling video games “electronic heroine” in the past, and has enacted measures that go as far as cutting a player’s score in half if they don’t exercise after 3 hours of consistently playing a game. Continue reading “What The United States Can Learn From China “Lifting” Its Video Game Ban” »
A couple of avid game players wanted to bring their passion for gaming to life, so where else to turn then making your very own graphic novel? That’s where Xtu and Graytemplar (their gamertags) decided to cook up their own 50 page graphic novel and gather investors for kickstarter.
What makes it especially epic (at least for us) was the inclusion of several Jace Hall moments, including a medieval Felicia Day. We caught up with the guys who are putting it all together, to get an insight into what it takes to turn an idea like a graphic novel, into a reality. Continue reading “Fans Create Epic, Jace Hall Show Inspired Graphic Novel (Complete With Jace Hall)” »