Matt Barton's blog

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The Best-Selling Computer and Console Games

Answers.com has a great list of best-selling computer and console games that's well worth a look if you're curious about the sales figures of your favorite games. While it'd probably be a stretch to call this the "definitive" list, my guess is that it's about the best we're likely to see until software retailers start keeping (and reporting) more accurate figures. I commend them for doing an excellent job. There are listings here for a large number of systems, including the Atari 2600. Check it out!

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Mario Games I've Never Played, Thank the Gods

How well do you know Mario? Did you know about all of Mario's Bastard Children? Read about some truly obscure Mario Bros.-licensed titles of all sorts--is "Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up" on anyone's top ten list? It seems that Nintendo's brief spasm of cross-platform licensing didn't last long, and, judging by the looks of these titles, that's a good thing. When will parents learn? Educational games suck--and so do devices that try to trick you into learning or getting in shape.

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Projectors, HD, and a $600 PS3

There's a great deal of cool techie things on the net today, so I'll try to cover as many of them as possible. First off, check out DIY Projetor, which will lead you to a site that explains how to build a home projector for "pennies": Imagine a 120" HDTV screen in your living room. No problem! But wait--what about that HD DVD player? Ewww...icky format war. Don't buy anything until you've read Reasons that HD DVD formats have already failed. The article makes an interesting point about why incompatibility works for game consoles but not DVD formats--and leaves a big question mark in my mind about Sony's committment to Blu-Ray in the PS3.

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The Gamer's Pad: What's your choice for optimum mousing?

XT-R Pad: The Maximum Pad for Your MouseXT-R Pad: The Maximum Pad for Your MouseI was reading this review on QPAD's XT-R "gamer's mousepad" and got to wondering about mouse pads in general. What's your preferred mousing surface? I know plenty of folks with high-end mice who seem quite content to go padless (geez, that sounds funny!), or at best the cheapest aquarium printed one they can find at Wal-Mart. Others insist on pads with gel wrist rests, whereas I own a FlexiGlow just because my wife thought it matched my Saitek gamer's keyboard. However, there does seem to be a niche market for innovative mouse pads. Some of the most popular ones are the aforementioned QPAD line, but there are also sleek models from Steel Pad and Ice Mat. Some of these pads ($40, anyone?) are as much as a mouse!

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The Best of FOSS Gaming

Neverball: Who says FOSS games are primitive?Neverball: Who says FOSS games are primitive?Terry Hancock of Free Software Magazine has published a wonderful review of several free software games for the GNU/Linux platform--and the best part is, he selected them based on the folks who would know (his kids!). I was struck by how many of these titles resemble some of my favorite Amiga shareware games, like Atomic Tanks and MOAGG (a Thrust clone). There are also some good-looking shooters, several strategy games, and a really sweet-looking 3D pinball game called Neverball. I strongly recommend that you head over to FSF and check out Terry's reviews!

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Fun PC Gaming Devices

XForce 3D: My b-day is coming up...XForce 3D: My b-day is coming up...Twitch Gaming has published a feature about Peculiar PC Gaming Devices that's sure to get your heart rate up this morning. There are some fantastic looking devices here that I'd dearly love to own, such as these awesome 3D glasses. I checked out the homepage and am now even more curious. Does anyone know anything about these glasses? I also liked this racing setup. I'm not really into racing games, but if I had this setup, I probably would be. There are also a couple guns here for your PC--though these look a bit silly to me--but not nearly as stupid as this scarf for portable gaming and computing devices.

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The History of Matching Tile Games

Matching Tile GamesMatching Tile GamesJesper Juul, an academic studying games and a self-styled "ludologist," is putting together a history of matching tile games, starting with Tetris and Chain Shot and spanning down and outward. Though he calls them the "most disrespected and despised game genre there is," he's worked out a very neat and eloquent classification system, and I bet there are many of us here who could add titles to Juul's list. He asks, "Am I missing a game that contributed to the history of matching tile games? Do you find the connections playsible?" Check out his diagram and see what you think.

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The History of Sega

SegaSegaThere's a brief article at a site called "The Older Gamers Paradise" about The Rise and Fall of Sega. It's not so much a detailed factual history as an opportunity to reminisce with a former diehard Sega fanboy (who now sounds a bit jaded, if you ask me). He's got some interesting speculations Sega's most fateful mistakes, the biggest seeming to be creating massive consumer confusion around 32x and Saturn. Here's an interesting thought--If Sega had used the CD unit as a springboard until perfecting the Saturn, things might have gone differently. If you're a Sega fan (or just want to see what the nostalgia is like from someone who is), you'll enjoy reading the article.

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Diarrhea Dan

TechTechUh...Look, I'll just post a link to this retro-style game called Diarrhea Dan. While it's not pornographic, you probably shouldn't consider this work-safe unless your boss has a real sense of potty humor. The sounds and graphics are very faithfully old school.

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Classic PC Games on Your PSP

PSPPSPAlthough PSP owners content to run official commercial titles for their system are safer to avoid homebrew, there's no denying that the emulation scene for the popular portable is extending at a massive rate: Now you can run scads of classic PC games on your PSP, including SCUMM adventure games (which I'd rather play than Doom).

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