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Neave tetris

Neave tetris

Neave Asteroids

Neave Asteroids

G4 Icons Ep on ESRB Ratings

Just watched an episode of Icons on YouTube that was fairly decent-- it covered the formation of the ESRB. While I didn't learn a whole lot from the episode that I didn't already know, its political slant made it appear more professional than the usual "cowabunga dude" casual demeanor G4 typically presents in its tripe it calls original programming. Check out the full link after the jump.

I wish the episode would have gone more into the controversy with the ESRB. Not too long ago, a Punisher video game was released for the PS2. The designer of the game was greatly upset at how the ESRB insisted upon censoring the special "violent kills" in the game; originally, they were in color and showed the full kill. In the finished version of the game, they are shown in black and white and sometimes fade to white or cut out early.

GAGs are dead! Long live the GAG!

Game design blog Sirlin had an article about the death of the Graphical Adventure Game genre. While this is nothing new, he has a theory on how to craft a GAG with more dynamic gameplay elements. Here's a clip.

It’s probably not technically feasible to allow different outcomes to branch into a huge tree of totally different stories, nor is it even desirable. The opponents of interactive fiction state that any story is really 1,000 possible stories where the author intelligently chose the one, single best story to tell. It would still be possible, though, to create a game world whose major story arc was resistant to change, while allowing change on the smaller scale. It might even be fun.

Matt Barton's picture

Games and Metaphors: Deep Thoughts by Eric-Jon Rossel Waugh

Every now and then I find a true gem on the net--more than just some tidbit about a new piece of hardware or some developer ranting about the lack of innovation in modern gaming. When I find something like Culture: Games and Metaphor, I like to slow down and really see what the author is trying to get across. Waugh's point in this essay is to get us to think about metaphors--specifically, metaphors in games and how they relate to the real world as well as the game world. He also talks about how the videogame industry has essentially been inbreeding for a few decades, rehashing and making questionable "progress" as it attempted to "revolutionize" the previous generations' hardware and games: Ever since Super Mario Bros. came out, basically all we've done is build on it. Waugh would like to see a revolution in game metaphors--rather than merely point back to earlier games, it's time to start thinking sensisbly about a new kind of metaphor, one that functions like great metaphors in books and films. Waugh uses a number of great examples to illustrate his points, including several from classics like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy.

Matt Barton's picture

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!

More Weekly Famitsu 20th Anniversary Madness!

Just picked up the latest issue of Famitsu Weekly and I am pleased to see they are still doing some retro coverage in their 20th Anniversary sections. The supplementary booklet this time around focuses on games from 1998-2005 with less detail than in the previous issue, but it's still interesting for a glance at what games were popular in Japan.

The Games History section focuses on a variety of sports genres in video games, giving several examples of each. It makes me want to buy a better Japanese dictionary when I get home so I can try some translating, although my Japanese grammar skills aren't great! Among the more curious types of sports games mentioned are Fishing Games and Winter Sports Games.

Matt Barton's picture

Hilarious Must-See YouTube!

Tripod: Did your wife or girlfriend send you this video?Tripod: Did your wife or girlfriend send you this video?While I was away at C&W, I received a link to Tripod's Gamer Love Song. I thought it was absolutely hilarious, as I'm sure you will--particularly if you're a married gamer. If at first you don't "get it," just wait a minute or so. BTW, YouTube is an amazing resource with tons of gamer videos. I also recommend Pac-Man the Movie. I warn you, though--it's easy to get sucked into these and lose a few hours in what feels like a nanosecond.

Matt Barton's picture

PC Magazine's Top 25 Worst Tech Devices of All Time

PC Magazine has a great feature up about the worst tech products of all time. It's a hall of shame for some truly miserable products. While there's only one game on the list (Disney's Lion King CD-ROM), you'll no doubt chuckle (fondly?) as you remember the items on this list. IBM's PCJr clocked in at at #13 and Microsoft Bob made it all the way to lucky #7.

Bill Loguidice's picture

A Start at useful Store and Systems Links

After getting tired of creating and re-creating "Favorites" in my Web browsers and/or generally overpopulating them and making things messy to the point of poor usability over the years, a while back I began collecting videogame and computer store links - which I've been posting on the classic Armchair Arcade already - and system-specific links - which I have yet to post anywhere. The "store" links still need to be categorized, while the system-specific links still need to be fleshed out (to put both mildly). However, I thought I would share as-is for now in case anyone was interested in clicking around in their raw states. At some point, as I'm able to expand these into what I want, I suspect they'll be incredibly useful and perhaps I can do something more imaginative with them.



Apple Macintosh

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