With its high-resolution monochrome display, the early Mac didn't fit easily into the gaming mainstream, where chunkier, colorful graphics were the norm well into the 90s. But as a result it generated a culture of its own, focused around detailed artwork, literary experimentation and powerful tools such as Hypercard. This history is often ignored, but Richard Moss is setting the record straight.
His book, The Secret History of Mac Gaming, shares the stories behind the often-whimsical 80s Mac games and glorifies the unique "1-bit" art style that emerged from the technology.
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Mac gaming welcomed strange ideas and encouraged experimentation. It fostered passionate and creative communities who inspired and challenged developers to do better and to follow the Mac mantra "think different".
The Secret History of Mac Gaming is the story of those communities and the game developers who survived and thrived in an ecosystem that was serially ignored by the outside world. It's a book about people who made games and people who played them — people who, on both counts, followed their hearts first and market trends second. How in spite of everything they had going against them, the people who carried the torch for Mac gaming in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s showed how clever, quirky, and downright wonderful videogames could be.
The Pittsburgh Craigslist has a hot deal: a gaming PC with "Slight Damage" that in no way impacts performance.
Guaranteed to run any new game on Ultra settings! Buy now and I'll throw in a free Zip drive! What a bargain! Has slight fire damage but this affects the system in no way, trust me!
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Zoya Street, curator of Critical Distance, offers slow reflections on the fast-paced world of digital play…
Remember the glory days of playing Super Nintendo on that classic gray controller with its signature purple push buttons? Yeah, we do too.
8Bitdo is bringing the 8-bit gaming vibe back with the SNES30, a 1:1 original design that supports both Bluetooth and USB connections.
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Activision Blizzard announced Monday evening that it plans to buy King Digital Entertainment, the maker of Candy Crush Saga, for about $5.9 billion. It's the third-largest video game industry deal ever. It's quite a dollar amount, but it's significant for other reasons, too.
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Bible trivia version of Bingo from 1973.
In a business where execs often lose touch with their audience, with development, & with the spirit of play, Iwata kept close to all these.
I've just watched all three new episodes of Wil's new show, which features performers and writers playing an exhilarating RPG campaign with Wil as DM, set in a lavishly illustrated techno-primitive society.
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Amazing gameplay footage: Minecraft through the Hololens. The VR demo from Microsoft executive Sax Persson today at the annual E3 games convention completely transforms the experience of Minecraft.
Microsoft acquired Minecraft Maker Mojang for $2.5 billion last year.
“This is a live demo, with real working code,” Persson said, before donning the HoloLens and projecting a Minecraft map onto a wall, and then a table onstage. Microsoft announced Minecraft would be a main attraction of the HoloLens earlier in the year, but this is the first working demo the company has shown to the public.
Viewers were able to see Persson’s augmented reality through a “special camera” outfitted to show the HoloLens display in real time, as he played the game on the wall with an Xbox controller.
Persson then walked over to the table, said, “create world,” and watched as the Minecraft world poured onto the table. This was met with perhaps the loudest applause of Microsoft’s presentation, as he continued to use voice commands and gestures to manipulate the world. The virtual projection constrained itself to the edges of the table well, and the camera was able to look inside of structures by moving through the virtual walls.
No HoloLens release date yet.
More at Boing Boing's OFFWORLD:
“The only things you really need to know about Microsoft's E3 press event”
[Kotaku on YouTube]
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My nephew, Joshua Smith, is graduating high school this week and will soon be off to the U.S. Coast Guard. In his free time, he's learning to painstakingly paint miniatures, and is starting to get pretty good! Here's a current WIP. Show us your own best work, for great justice. Read the rest
The Internet Archive beta-released a library of MS-DOS
games bootable and playable via the EM-DOSBOX in-browser emulator.
Back in the mid-90s, late game maker Theresa Duncan made some unconventional, ground-breaking CD games based on the everyday experiences of young girls. There's now a Kickstarter campaign to bring them back and ensure her seminal work isn't lost to history:
This project, by the NYC-based digital art nonprofit Rhizome, will fund the process of putting three games directed by Duncan—Chop Suey (1995, co-created with Monica Gesue), Smarty (1996), and Zero Zero (1997)—online, for the first time ever. With your help, they will be playable in any modern browser via emulation and available for free, for a minimum of one year.
Throughout my career as a video game critic, and in recent years a feminist one, I've noticed we tend to treat the advent of girls and women's stories as novel. To lots of us, they are -- for example I'd never read a syllabus on feminist games
, or seen work like my friend Nina Freeman's vignette games
(Nina just successfully defended her thesis and got a Masters of Science in Integrated Digital Media from NYU, congrats Nina), til my adulthood.
But the games business' particular fixation on newness and "innovation" mustn't divorce us from our obligation to history -- that's what makes Rhizome's work with Duncan's oeuvre more important now than ever.
Read Jenn Frank on Theresa Duncan's memory here, or her piece about Duncan's Chop Suey here. For more on girlhood and the early days of games, here I am in the Guardian on Rachel Weil's feminist art. Read the rest
Two recent Storify pages provide some fascinating insight on how this group came to conceive of "gamer" as a fictional "ethnicity" with a persecution complex (from Katherine Cross), as well as on how the cultural norms of Chan-style boards drive this perplexing clash with the realms of people's real working and social lives (from A_Man_in_Black). Read the rest
Mother Jones reporter Nina Liss-Schultz asked Anita Sarkeesian why she thinks she has been targeted by knuckle-dragging assholes on the internet--vicious threats, death, rape, and beatings by haters who happen to be men, and believe that women like Sarkeesian should shut up and stay out of their clubhouse. Read the rest
Matt Conn wanted to organize a safe event for gaymers — that's people who game and are part of the LGBTQ continuum. The GaymerX event is meant to be inclusive of all people, but especially those harassed, marginalized, or ridiculed in mainstream gaming. The first GaymerX took place August 2013; the next happens in July. We talk about what it's like to help a community be part of birthing a new convention.
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Gen Xers like to complain about not having the flying cars they were promised. But it was the Boomers who were promised flying cars. Unless you're that old, the joke goes, you were promised a cyberpunk dystopia: presently under construction for the Millenials to enjoy.
To kids growing up in the 1990s though— born in an empty space between these "generations" of entertainment marketing—such grand concepts were drowned by the mundane reality of the early web. Too young to be on the pre-AOL net, when it was still cool, but old enough for it to remain a new and strange land, this thinly-sliced cohort experienced a certain yearning bathos, a search for the real in a medium freshly proven otherwise.
In Breathing Machine: A Memoir of Computers, Leigh Alexander captures a powerful scent of what it was like to be born into computer gaming's golden age, to have a taste of a "world bigger than the one you can touch" only to spend adolescence in a world of chatrooms, terrible internet speeds and false frontiers. Read the rest
Stewart Butterfield tells how a few million dollars worth of art, created for a beloved massively-multiplayer game, ended up in the public domain after its death.