The mass slaughtering of giant birds has now taken place. The pumpkin pie, stuffing and other foods nobody eats the rest of the year is now piping hot. That weird aunt you only see twice a year is ready to get your name wrong and ask how Tom Landry is doing when she sees you watching the Dallas Cowboys game. Black Friday shoppers are sharpening their swords and spiked cleats as they prepare to kill for the chance to own some off-brand TV for $8… if they can only get there during the first 17.8 mintues.
Yes, it’s Thanksgiving… and that means it is time to give thanks, which happens to fit right in with the name of the holiday. Pretty cool how they did that.
Here is what I’m thankful for in the world of video gaming as we start to get all reflective for 2013 and stuff.
I’m Thankful for the New Console Wars Continue reading “What I’m Thankful For in Video Gaming (Snarky Style)” »
Ho ho ho. Ho ho ho.
No… I’m not calling you names. Damn written word. It’s the laugh of that fat guy that breaks into everyone’s house this time of year.
Video games are a huge focus for retailers this holiday season, with the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Wii U going at it in a blood war for your Christmas dollars.
Continue reading “This Week in Video Game History: Retrogaming Christmas commercials” »
Thus far the internet has survived the fanboy wars of 2013. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One war hasn’t turned into the same violent outbreak of the “Less Filling / Tastes Great” beer wars from olden times. At least not so far.
Here’s this week’s rundown of video game headlines with a heavy dose of snark added in for flavor. Beefy flavor.
PlayStation 4 just launched and the Xbox One is just about to. We are being assaulted at all sides by product demonstrations, news stories, television commercials, banner ads, and more. Both sides are confident that they have the most awesome video game entertainment system of all time. The height of technology. The future has arrived.
So did everyone else who ever launched a console. Continue reading “This Week in Video Game History – Failure to Launch: The consoles that flopped” »
It’s here, it’s here, it’s finally here!
No, not the PlayStation 4 launch, silly. This column… this weekly column that take a snarky look at video game headlines from the previous seven (7) days that came before it. I guess I should probably mention that PlayStation thing in here somewhere, though. It releases hours AFTER I write this piece, so those of you freezing your asses off to get one without a pre-order will be made fun of next week.
We’ve arrived. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are in full marketing blast as the launch dates for each finally hit.
Despite how big video gaming is today, marketing new gaming consoles to the mainstream consumer has always been a major part of launches going all the way back to the very, very beginning as the Magnavox Odyssey hit store shelves in 1972.
Continue reading “This Week in Video Game History: Console Launch TV Commercials” »
The first full week of November almost made the job of writing a snarky rundown of video game headlines an easy one. Imagine when the new consoles launch soon. I’m rubbing my hands together like an over-caffeinated Mr. Miyagi here.
Here’s what went down this week.
New Console Hype Hits Television
The television blitz for the next-gen consoles is already in full swing, as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One commercials have hit mainstream television commercial time. Thus far, it seems the Xbox One is advertising far more often, which I suppose makes sense given the focus on TV TV TV with that console.
This week’s episode of The Walking Dead saw an Xbox One commercial during every commercial break, perhaps due to the fact that show looks remarkably similar to Black Friday already.
Achievement Unlocked: 10G – The true hilarity won’t come until the mainstream newscasts try to talk about the new console. Every time one of the anchors says “remember Atari?” or “remember Pong?” you have to take a shot of tequila.
It’s Call of Duty Time… It’s Call of Duty Time…
Who needs a calendar to tell you it’s November each year when you have Call of Duty? Activision pushed out Call of Duty: Ghosts this week with their typical fanfare and media blitz.
Many gamers and reviews out there complained that the new game still feels too much like the previous CoD titles. Well duh.
Isn’t that like going to McDonald’s and complaining that your Big Mac wasn’t four-star cuisine? What’s next, coming out of the next Transformers movie and complaining about the screenplay? Writing a scathing blog about how the sun keeps setting on the same side of the sky? Expecting a Jay Leno monologue to contain jokes he wasn’t using in 1997?
Get real, people. You knew what to expect. Some people like the things I just listed and some don’t. Same with Call of Duty.
Achievement Unlocked: 20G – Their launch trailer had Megan Fox in it for crying out loud. Shouldn’t that have been a hint that we’ve seen everything here already?
Madden Checks In
The checks from the class action lawsuit over the Madden NFL franchise have started coming in to those who filed in time.
Of course, mine hasn’t arrived yet despite buying the game every year under the time period listed in the suit. I figure it should be enough to buy a few thousand copies of last year’s version at GameStop.
Achievement Unlocked: 30G – To those who asked why I bought it every year… I can now point to these old versions as a long term investment… when the check shows up.
Blockbuster Goes Bust
The last 303 Blockbuster Video stores left standing will close down by January.
At one point in time, Blockbuster stores were a huge site for video gaming, starting with a wide selection of video games to rent at the peak of the Nintendo Entertainment System and moving forward with each generation from there. They also hosted a number of competitions during the 16-bit era, including a fun event on Donkey Kong Country that allowed me to win a year of free game rentals once upon a time.
Now they will go the way of the dodo, replaced by an army of red vending machines and On Demand services that don’t charge late fees or ask you to be kind.
So, yeah… go rent Call of Duty: Ghosts real quick and, um, misplace it until January. Make it a Blockbuster night.
Achievement Unlocked: 40G – If you’d have told me in 1995 that Blockbuster would be totally out of business but Kmart, Radio Shack and Sears would remain I’d have called you a damn liar. Yeah, I waited around the return desk for hours on a Friay night to rent myself a copy of The Mummy, too.
Whoops. A glitch in the Walmart website created prices so low even their own employees could afford them.
HD projectors dropped to $8, the super high-end televisions that only sell around the Super Bowl® dropped to $200 and a treadmill dropped to $29. Even with the huge price drop, however, Walmart customers still refused to touch a treadmill.
The glitch created some super low prices on video games as well, including Battlefield 4, Grand Theft Auto V and even the Disney Infinity Starter Pack dipping to under $19 each. Untold masses of gamers picked up as many copies as they could via the store pick-up option, proving to the mainstream media that video gamers actually do go outside.
Walmart released a statement saying they will honor all online orders placed during the glitch. To make up for the losses, the store chain plans to cut employee wages, healthcare plans and merchandise quality.
In other words, it’s business as usual for Walmart. Carry on.
Achievement Unlocked: 50G – That moment you can identify a Walmart customer by the fact they are trading in 25 copies of Grand Theft Auto V to buy a Playstation 4 next week at Gamestop. Don’t think that won’t happen.
Check back every Thursday. The video game industry is about to go apeshit here, and I’ll be back each week to poke a stick at it.
There has been a lot of online chatter as of late about the PlayStation 4 games running in a higher resolution than the Xbox One titles. This topic has sparked a ton of debate, continuing a debate that has actually existed in video gaming going all the way back to the late 1970s. Continue reading “This Week in Video Game History: The eternal “better graphics” debate…” »
As what is perhaps the most interesting November in video game history knocking at our door, it’s time once again for that snarky rundown of video game headlines from the past seven days. You might find some of the jokes silly, but looking around the ‘net this week I figure you either have this column or Bitstrips and giraffe riddles.
That’s what I thought. Let’s go!
The video arcade was a staple of life in the early 1980s, so it was no surprise when filmmakers began filming scenes in video arcades whenever possible during that era.
This week, we explore the locations and some trivia from scenes in three classics: The Karate Kid, Wargames and Rocky III. All three locations are actually based near the Los Angeles area despite the films basing two them in other areas of the country. In fact, two of these locations are still in business today. You can actually go play video games in them right after reading this if you like.
To learn the locations of other arcades you may have seen in your favorite 80s movies, check out http://www.patrickscottpatterson.com/Locations.
It’s Thursday again, time to snark up some big video game headlines from the previous seven day period of the rotation of our planet. Take a few and check out something video game related you didn’t have to pre-order months ahead of time.
That’s a buncha bullseye!
Big box retailer Target, known for competitive prices and oddly marketed pretend-its-high-end items with no practical use attempted a real all-or-nothing with gamers. Continue reading “This Week in Video Gaming (Snarky Style): TotalBiscuit Burned, Splatterhouse Battle, Pitchford Buys Some Hair” »
A lot of things bug me every time the mainstream media and politicians attack certain video games for having “violent and sexual content”, including the fact that they aren’t being made for kids in the first place.
Perhaps the biggest thing that bugs me, however, are those that don’t even know their history here. Some claim that the “debate” on these types of games began with Doom… others claim it started with Mortal Kombat.
It started in 1976 with Death Race, and continued through the 70s and 80s with a variety of video game titles. Certainly not a “recent” development in the video game industry.
This week we take a look back at just some of the early examples of sex and violence in video games as the “debate” over such content continues.
The time has come once again. It is time to Snarkify® numerous video game headlines from the previous seven (7) days.
Let’s get to it.
October 18, 1985 goes down as the day that forever changed video gaming in North America.
Still reeling from a total industry crash in the States, the term “video game” was a bad word to American retailers. It was also the reason why Nintendo was still struggling to break their 1983 Famicom console into the region. Finally, by making deals to buy back unsold stock and marketing the system as a “robot and gun” toy and “entertainment system”, they finally pushed it for a small test run in New York City.
While the odds are that someone, if not Nintendo, would have brought the video game back to the States, the entire industry would be different today had they not. For a time, the Nintendo Entertainment System was the most dominant video game console in American history, holding more than 90 percent of the market share for a number of years. Every console hooked up to American televisions today was somehow set in motion by Nintendo’s success during the NES days and the products that followed it.
Take a look back this week at the earliest NES commercials and some of the media reaction of the time, along with various other historical tidbits on the console that changed everything.
It’s that time of week again. Welcome to the one thing that you’ll see this month that doesn’t have pumpkin spice added to it… my weekly, snark-filled rundown of video game headlines.
With only weeks to go before a huge video gaming November, here’s what happened this week that I feel I can poke a big pointy stick at.
PlayStation 4: The College Years Continue reading “This Week in Video Gaming (Snarky Style) – Obama says ‘Xbox’, PS4 made in China, GTA blamed again” »
Most gamers these days know Activision, but few seem to know the full history of the longtime video game brand.
Activision was formed on October 1, 1979. It was the first-ever third party video game publisher. A group of Atari programmers grew weary of seeing their games make money and fame for only their employer, but Atari denied the idea of giving them credit and extra money for top sellers… so they left.
It didn’t take long for Activision to make their mark, as almost every game they put out onto market proved popular due to a unique style in both gameplay and advertising. The Activision programmers became royalty in the video game scene as did the gamers themselves as the company began sending free items to those who mailed in photos of their high scores on the Activision game library.
The company struck true gold with the 1982 release Pitfall!, one of many hits by still-active programmer David Crane. The game proved so popular that it was one of the video game titles featured on CBS cartoon series Saturday Supercade. It was the only console title to be included in the video game cartoon shorts series, sharing time with titles such as Donkey Kong, Frogger and Q*bert.
While the brand later had it’s highs and lows and shifts in ownership and style, the earliest days of the company were just as important to video game industry history as the many hit titles it publishes today.
The Federal Government might not be open for business, but this weekly snark-filled ball of sarcastic video game headline rundowns is. Even better, there’s no need to read Green Eggs and Ham to kill time in it. I do not like that.
Let’s get to it.
Licensing mainstream entertainment within video games has been going on for ages, ever since Sega licensed Happy Days‘ Fonzie for a motorcycle arcade game in the 1970s. Continue reading “This Week in Video Game History: Gaming & Musicians Collide” »
Grand Theft Auto V has been out for more than a week now and we haven’t massacred one another yet. I guess the news was wrong. Hmph.
Then I guess it’s time for another weekly and snark filled rundown of video game headlines.
At least one person blamed GTA for something
A 20-year-old moron in Baton Rouge, Louisiana tried to blame Grand Theft Auto this week for his own actions, which included kidnapping, auto theft and ramming numerous other vehicles. He reportedly told investigators that he “wanted to play Grand Theft Auto in real life”.
Oddly enough, despite the fact that the idiot served up the scapegoating himself, the media pretty much ignored this one as Obamacare served as the media’s crush of the week.
Achievement Unlocked: 10G – His cellmates are going to insist he plays “Pokemon” in real life.
A man in a Ronald Reagan mask joined with a clown this past week to rob a Palm Desert, California GameStop. The two crooks made off with several items but declined to sign up for the Power Rewards Card®.
“He seemed like a nice guy,” said Blade of the Bad Dudes. ”After we rescued him, he even took us out for burgers. I am a bad enough dude to be disappointed in him now.”
Among the items take was a PS Vita, which proves that even a guy dressed like Ronald Reagan can be senile.
Achievement Unlocked: 20G – I guess FOX News will blame video games for this crime while CNN blames Republicans?
The King of Kong is Flipping Burgers
The debut of ABC comedy The Goldbergs this week was not only notable for trying to combine the concept of the Wonder Years with a the gravitational pull of a black hole that ensured you won’t laugh at a second of the 80s references within… it also contained a moment featuring everyone’s favorite retro arcade underdog.
As the show’s grandfather crashes his car into a local hamburger stand, former Donkey Kong champion Steve Wiebe makes a cameo as the befuddled burger jockey.
Cut from the episode was a scene where Wiebe’s character tries to show the police the security camera footage, only for Billy Mitchell to show up with a video tape of his own, better security camera footage.
Achievement Unlocked: 30G – Yes, I had to go there. While those Billy Mitchell videotape jokes have been old for years, some people still think they are the funniest thing on the planet. Then again, there are people excited for a Dumb and Dumber sequel, too.
What the hell is that?
Two new soccer video games came out this week.
Achievement Unlocked: 40G – This is Americuuuh!
Judge bans kid from playing video games
A Wisconsin teen has been barred from playing video games after assaulting his mother. Apparently she unplugged his game in progress in an attempt to stop him from cussing the game and he snapped.
So naturally, rather than explore the relationship between this child and his mother or look for other underlying mental problems he might have, the judge rules that he cannot play any more video games.
That should solve everything. After all, I go on a violent rampage every time a Call of Duty lobby crashes and all.
Obviously, this kiddo has other issues besides his PlayStation 3… such as his haircut. But once again, video games are an easy thing to put center stage.
Same as it ever was.
Achievement Unlocked: 50G – Technically, the kid could still boot up the newest SimCity game. That never lets you play.
We have new consoles coming up quick. Between mainstream media coverage of that, the inevitable launch shortages and glitches and internet reactions… we should be swimming in months worth of this stuff very, very soon.
I’ll be looking for you to check back every freakin’ week. I’ve tagged your IP. Thank you.
New consoles coming out an a truckload of consoles and devices that play video games in homes everywhere.
A lot of features and gadgets considered to be products of the most recent and/or upcoming gaming generations are probably a lot older than a lot of people think, though.
This week’s vid touches on that. Take a good long look at examples of “modern” video game concepts that came along way before most people seem to realize, from digital downloads to portables with internet capabilities.
For the older crowd… how much of this stuff did you already buy the first time around?