Armchair Arcade Issue #6 - January 2005

Matt Barton's picture

Welcome to Armchair Arcade's Sixth Issue!

Thanks for checking out the latest issue of Armchair Arcade. We're very proud of all the hard work that went into this issue and look forward to discussing our articles with you. We're also pleased to showcase a fresh cover painting by our own cherished artist, Seb Brassard. We hope you'll agree that Seb's masterful work is representative of the fine articles beneath the cover.

Since the last issue, our Retrogaming News section has become a hit, with hundreds of subscribers to our RSS feed and regular discussion of news items. We've also enjoyed record-smashing hit counts (over 10,000 unique visitors in November!) and expect even more for this dynamite issue. Please, share your knowledge of this great resource with your friends and co-workers! We're counting on you to spread the word of all the great things we're doing here at Armchair Arcade. Remember, if you only read the articles and don't participate in our friendly forum community, you're missing out. Register on the site—it's free!

We are also pleased to introduce four new staff members to the team: Staff Writer Mat Tschirgi, Assistant Editor Mark Vergeer, and Web Editors Cecil Casey and Don Ferren.
- Matt, Bill, David and Seb

Issue 6's articles:

The editors speak in this Issue's Hot Topic editorial: Emulation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Pt. 2 - Emulation and Abandonware: Good or Evil?

Finish Him! Where have all the Fatalities Gone?
by Mat Tschirgi
In this hackle-raising article, Mat looks at fighting games and finds that the great majority lack innovation—"Sure, they have moved from 2-D to 3-D, but basic game play mechanics have remained virtually unchanged." Thankfully, Mat has found a few games, like One Must Fall: 2097, Bushido Blade, and Super Smash Bros., that do buck the trend. Expect to see some significant controversy in the comment section of this article!

Hackers, Slackers, and Shackles: The Future of Free Software Game Development
by Matt Barton
This article is the result of months of research and interviews with free and proprietary independent software developers. It provides great insight into the future of what is more commonly termed "open source" game development and asks the "hard questions." Will the games of the future be free or proprietary, and how will this affect gamers? Matt explores all this and more. Don't miss it!

A Game of Concentration: Videogames and ADHD
by Patty McCabe-Remmell

Most people think that videogames cause ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper-Disorder), but Patty argues the opposite and offers her own experiences (as both a gamer and a mother) as a case-in-point: "Gaming allowed me to focus for once, and gave me ample practice in channeling and focusing thoughts in order to complete a task." Read it!

Atari Flashback versus Commodore 64 30-in-1
by Bill Loguidice
"TV games", or consoles that have a fixed set of games, have become quite popular and seem to show up everywhere. The Atari and Commodore names have always been part of a fierce rivalry, and while the companies behind these products are different, the competition continues in TV game form. Which device delivers? Read before you buy!

Computer Camp Catastrophes
by Mat Tschirgi
Mat is a gamer of many talents, one of which is teaching kids how to make their own games. This anecdotal piece describes his hits and misses teaching videogame development (with RPG Toolkit and Gamemaker) to kids at computer camp. It's full of wisdom and insight for anyone interested in introducing children to the creative side of computing and an entertaining read.

Shutting Down Windows
by David Torre
In the first of many Armchair Arcade articles that focuses on more than just games, David's passionate but honest editorial explains why we ought to give up Microsoft's proprietary operating system and join the legions switching to Linux. Why is Linux something we should be excited about? Read this provocative piece to find out.