News

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Regularly updated news on all topics relevant to Armchair Arcade.
Bill Loguidice's picture

The end of anonymity on the Internet and it's all thanks to Facebook?

TrollfaceTrollfaceI was listening earlier to the net@night 192 podcast ("Guy Kawasaki and Enchantment" March 8, 2011) on my iPhone and Amber McCarthur and Leo Laporte were having an interesting discussion regarding Facebook's pervasiveness and how it might solve the problem of anonymous trolling on the Internet. As you know, some of around here on Armchair Arcade have been championing the idea of one's online identity being tied directly to their actual identity (here and here, as just two examples). The basic premise is that just like they do in the real world, an adult's negative actions would have consequences because others would know exactly who was causing the grief. The problem was always how to implement such a system, because previous attempts at real name accountability (as detailed in those two example links) were met with anger and resistance. In short, there was no practical way to make this happen considering the wide open and non-unified nature of the Web. Interestingly enough, the answer may be in Facebook's ever increasing dominance. You see, many sites now are requiring use of a Facebook login to leave comments--anonymous griefers need not apply. According to McCarthur, the sites that have implemented such a system have seen a slight reduction in the volume of comments, but a dramatic increase in the quality of comments and few, if any, trolls. While we've already debated this idea endlessly around here with neither side really budging from their positions, I think even though the Facebook-login-to-comment's success is largely anecdotal at this point, this is certainly a trend worth keeping an eye on for those of us in the accountability camp. Who knew that Facebook could have been the argument clincher all along? With over 600 million users and counting, it's clearly one of the most viable solutions out there. As Bill Loguidice - the actual Bill Loguidice - I can say without hesitation that if this indeed represents a turning point, I believe that the vast majority of us will have a heck of lot of great conversations to look forward to.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox 360 Sets Guinness World Record for Sales

Microsoft KinectMicrosoft KinectMaking the rounds today is word that Microsoft's Kinect has sold over 10 million units since it had its worldwide roll-out throughout the month of November, 2010. Certainly an impressive feat in such a short amount of time and apparently worthy of the people at Guinness World Records, who have officially named it the "fastest-selling consumer electronics device" (faster than even the iPhone and iPad) by selling an average of 133,333 units per day for a total of eight million units in its first 60 days between November 4, 2010, and January 3, 2011. Congrats to Microsoft and I'm certainly a fan, but I have to say, now that there's no denying the device has consumer traction, where are the games? Dance Central and Kinect Sports are lots of fun, but we could really use some more quality titles to take advantage of the device, and sooner rather than later at that...

Bill Loguidice's picture

Issue 48 of the Commodore Free magazine - February 2011, Now Available!

The latest issue, February 2011, of the excellent Commodore Free magazine is now available in the usual .PDF, .txt, .seq, .d64, .html, EPUB, and MOBI formats. Get your copy in the format of your choice here!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Creator of the first Programmable Videogame Console, Jerry Lawson, Honored!

Fairchild VESFairchild VESBecause of the significance and its long overdue nature, I wanted to point out that videogame pioneer, Jerry Lawson, has recently been getting a lot of attention, including being honored today by the International Game Developers Association. Mike Cassidy of The Mercury News has a nice write-up of the details. Lawson, both a brilliant engineer and programmer, most famously created the first programmable videogame console - released in 1976 - the Fairchild Video Entertainment System (or VES, later repackaged as the Fairchild Channel F System II) - and many of its games. While little remembered today, the forward thinking VES design got a lot of things right, and some amazing homebrew games are still being made for the system today. I know it has a prized place in my own collection. Congrats, Jerry!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Armchair Arcade Featured in Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine!

For all you frequent fliers out there, you might have noticed an article in the March 2011 issue of Southwest Airlines Spirit Magazine entitled, Play it Again, Man!. It was written several months back (thank you, print lead time) by Jennifer Nalewicki under advisement from yours truly and my frequent partner-in-crime, Matt Barton. Besides mentioning us and Armchair Arcade, you'll also see a nod to our book, Vintage Games, in the header. While it's not a long piece, it's nice to see something targeted to mainstream audiences like Spirit Magazine is featuring positive videogame content. Check out the print version on your next Southwest Airlines flight or click here for the PDF or here for the decidedly less fun text-only version.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Apple's Amazing Keynote - Revenge of the iPad!

Well, Apple did it, they actually lived up to the hype yet again. Steve Jobs coming out on stage and doing the presentation was a brilliant touch. No matter what you think of Jobs or Apple, good for him. As for the iPad 2, well, Apple didn't merely iterate slightly, they did actually make a true "2", no now all those silly rumors of an iPad 3 coming out in the fall can be put to rest. 1.3 pounds, THINNER than my iPhone 4, new A5 processor, improved graphics, dual cameras, available in black and white, AT&T and Verizon from day one, 10 hour battery life, $499 starting price (maxes out at $829 for 64GB with WiFi/3G), HDMI mirrored output up to 1080p, smart covers, etc. I think my hemming and hawing over what tablet to get was for naught as the decision has been made rather handily for me. Apple is just too far ahead of the competition at this point. Maybe that will change within a few years, but right now, all things considered, the iPad 2 is the only logical choice in tablets. It hits the US on March 11 and rolls out to 26 more countries on March 25. So, what do you guys think? Are you sold or do you think there will be better options in 2011?

Chip Hageman's picture

VICE Emulator updated to v2.3

VICE Emulator

The VICE Commodore emulator has recently been updated to v2.3, although this is not currently reflected on their main page.

Some of the notable enhancements in this release include: Improvements to the disk-drive emulation (including weak bit emulation), a new reSID version, a new accurate C64 emulator (x64sc), CRT emulation (formerly “PAL emulation” Now available in all emulators), added "True aspect ratio" option, an improved ML monitor (io details, expansion port status, etc), improved CIA interrupt accuracy (6526/6526A selectable), sound buffer overflows reduced, VIA wrap handling rewritten to fix problems with timer 2, added autostart option to do "LOAD ,8" instead of "LOAD ,8,1", emulation improvements based on photographs of the actual chips and new v364 speech emulation for the 264 emulator.

You can download the updated binary packages from their SourceForge page.
Matt Barton's picture

Her Interactive's Nancy Drew Coming to iPad

I've been mostly ambivalent about the iPad so far, but I have to admit, Her Interactive's new iPad Shadow Ranch game looks very intriguing. While the hype is perhaps a bit over the top (it's not like nobody has ever thought about combining games and books), it is nice to see a company so well-poised to deliver. Obviously, anyone who loves Nancy Drew probably fell in love first and foremost with the books, so a product like this makes a great deal of sense.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Castle Wolfenstein Original Cover Art Painting Sells for $2,024.99 plus shipping

While we typically think of videogame and computer collecting as simply acquiring hardware, software and accessories, there are also the occasional cool one-of-a-kind items, like this original cover art painting for the legendary Castle Wolfenstein (featured in Chapter 2 of our book, Vintage Games), apparently created with alkyd oils. If I were rich, I'd definitely get into this kind of artwork collecting moreso than what is traditionally considered art collecting.

So I ask, if you had the financial resources, would this collecting of the more "cultural" aspects of videogames appeal to you as well?

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