Archive for the ‘The Gaming Community’ Category

Xbox One: The Cloud Could Save Gaming

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on June 20, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Like most of Microsoft’s PR about its new console, the alleged 300,000 server-powered Cloud behind the Xbox One is ill-defined and subject to a great deal of controversy, labelled as anything from an always-online DRM excuse for single-player games to “a lie” as spun by Witness dev Jonathan Blow.

While what it is has yet to be fully settled, what it could be is the salvation of the next generation of gaming.

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Remember Me: First Impressions, Metareview and Early Allegorical Interpretations

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on June 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm


Remember Me is an incredibly ambitious game that seems to have polarized reviewers, having pockmarked its review sheet with scores that defy conventional mathematics, ranging from 40 to 90, with six scores of 80 and eight scores of 70.

Having not yet finished this ten plus hour game, I will refrain from offering too final a verdict, but instead will discuss my initial impressions, the mystery behind the metareview, and what notes this game is hitting allegorically speaking.

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Things That Bug Me

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on November 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm

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Game Theory

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on May 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Oh, Internet. If there’s one thing you do well, it’s in presenting a complex, multifaceted issue as a binary yes or no question. Religion? Explainable in a forum post. Philosophy and morality? D&D solved that decades ago with their 3×3 alignment grid. Feminism? I’m sure there’s an aphorism regarding domestic household labor that’s appropriate.

To whether games are art, we’ve seen a great deal of discussion. “Yes!” sayeth those that have been touched by a game’s narrative or those holding high aspirations for the medium. “No!” shouts people that desperately skip plot segments and Roger Ebert. What do I say?

Probably something along the lines of “Do you have the complimentary handout that accompanies this lecture.” or, “Are you sitting down, this may take a while.” Read the rest of this entry »

The Gaming Network

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on May 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Being born in the early ’80s grants kind of a weird curve for my relationship with technology. Most obviously, it means that I grew up during the rebirth of post-crash video games, having been gifted a Nintendo at a very young age. It also allowed me to grow right alongside computing technology; I recall pounding out early essays on my dad’s brand-new Windows 3.x machine (and prior to that, swapping floppies out on a 386). By the time high school finished, I was a wiz at an early version of Photoshop, having taken the helm in teaching my web design class how best to use the program.

College granted both the formative years of my web presence, when I would make a number of forums my “home” online. To this, I owe a number of solid friendships that remain with me to this day. As it was also my first foray into the distant Big City of Chicago, a city I now call home, I got to take the family cell phone, which evolved into having my own phone as part of the family plan.

So it might be said that I peaked a little early to have really gotten on board with social networking. But even I can recognize that games — “traditional” “mainstream” or “hardcore” video games — are way behind the curve. Read the rest of this entry »

Mass Effect: What to Expect When You’re Dissecting

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on May 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm

The best way to understand Mass Effect is to understand something of hyperdimensional physics. In the third dimension, we perceive the entirety of an infinite array of second dimensional information; this creates 3D space. From a 4D perspective, time becomes a traversable axis while perception exceeds and recedes into the past and future. In a theoretical 5D space, different timelines themselves come into play, the entirety of their 4D axis laid out for direct observation.

If this begins to reach into the areas that Man Is Not Meant To Know, you’ve begun to see the problem with an intense dissection and comparison Mass Effect‘s plot that the choices that end up sculpting the story. We knew that all that was presented was the illusion of freedom in what is actually a very well-defined plot, but Bioware approached the possibility — that we all wanted to believe — that the illusion was real, shortly before shattering that illusion with its ending. Read the rest of this entry »

Good Bad Games: The Paradox of Horror Gaming

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on May 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Horror games have it hard, tasked with producing something worthy amidst a sea of seemingly contradictory values: to create for general consumption that plays upon the very personal nature of fear; to define an unknowable experience; to merge player agency with protagonist hindrance; and to make a good game that will treat its players poorly throughout, expecting to be thanked for the pleasure.

It is, then, of no surprise that the software in this generation’s hardware have seen the decline of this tricky genre and its difficult to please fans. Read the rest of this entry »

This Is What I Think About When People Idolize the Gaming Industry

In The Gaming Community on April 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm

The gaming industry combines the worst aspects of Hollywood’s Prima donna tendencies with the tech industry’s dire reliance on what amounts to a caste system filled with eminently disposable employees to create a system of severe exploitation and devaluation that ultimately serves no one but those at the top.

Yet gamers dream of making it into the industry and will take any opportunity to “break” in, even going so far as to swarm positions that common and heavily published wisdom dictate as a bad place to start and a worse place to live for any amount of time.

Those poor game testers. Read the rest of this entry »

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World of Warcraft

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on April 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm

You can tell much about a game by its release date. Or rather, you can get a whiff of the publisher’s intentions by such information. In this way, games can be likened to movies; lacking a successful model for episodic content, we rely on singular release events which carry varied intents based upon the time of year as well as its adjacency to competing releases. Unlike movies, games have both a pre-order model and staying power that makes adjacency to big titles tricky, moreso due to games being much more expensive than a movie ticket. Read the rest of this entry »

Kickstarters, Crowdsourcing, Word of Mouth and Digital Distribution: Should Publishers be Afraid?

In The Gaming Community, Video Games on April 17, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Traditionally, publishers have been responsible for funding and distributing development projects and afterwards deciding how much of their marketing might to expend on promoting the new game. This allows them to act as gatekeepers, granting them first and in most cases final say on what games get developed. This tremendous power sculpts the game industry as we see it today: “hit” focused, sequel-heavy, IP-intensive with all games trending towards broader appeal of an assumed market base of young adult to adult white males. However, emerging technology and social trends stand poised to challenge this model. Read the rest of this entry »