Boing Boing 

Beta release: Internet Archive library of 1990s MS-DOS games

Castle_Wolfenstein_1984_screenshot

The Internet Archive beta-released a library of MS-DOS games bootable and playable via the EM-DOSBOX in-browser emulator. Games include Oregon Trail, Prince of Persia, Wolfenstein, Sim City...

Read the rest

Help preserve feminist video gaming history

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.

Some worthwhile cultural analysis on Gamergaters

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

Sarkeesian on sexism in video games, and becoming a hate-target for talking about it

videogamemaster

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

New Disruptors 61: Attention to Convention with Matt Conn

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.

The New Disruptors: RSS | iTunes | Download this episode | Listen on Stitcher

This episode is sponsored by:

lynda.com: Over 2,000 high-quality and engaging video courses taught by industry experts — with new courses added daily. Listeners get a free 7-day trial with full access to all content by visiting lynda.com/tnd and signing up.

Media Temple: Web hosting for artists, designers, and Web developers since 1998. World-class support available 24x7 through phone and chat—and even Twitter. Sign up with coupon code "tnd" to get 25% off your first month of hosting.

Read the rest

Breathing Machine: Leigh Alexander's memoir of adolescence on the early web

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

Glitch in the Afterlife

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.

Read the rest

Eating hot peppers and reviewing video games

In the curiously compelling Hot Pepper Gaming video series, hosts eat hot peppers and then review video games. Here, Erin Schmalfeld enjoys a habanero pepper before telling us about Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.

Nvidia Shield, portable game console, reviewed

Nvidia's Shield is the chipmaker's big push into an already well-stocked portable gaming field. Sony and Nintendo sell millions of handsets, yet their lunch's been conspicuously eaten by Apple's iPhone, and other touchscreen smartphones and tablets, in the last few years.

Resembling a large game controller with a flip-out screen, the $299 monster will win no awards for pocketability, prettiness or pricing. With beefy specs, traditional controls and a versatile, open cut of Android, though, it has a strong appeal to serious gamers—it can even control games streamed live from your PC. What did reviewers make of it?

Read the rest

Gallery: Dice galore at Comic-Con

Though I've never played a pen-and-paper RPG in my life, I'm completely in love with the dice. At Comic-Con, a company called Chessex had more on offer, in more shapes, sizes and geometries, than I'd ever seen in my life. Irresistable!

Read the rest

Oculus Rift founder dies in accident

Andrew Scott Reisse, one of the founding developers behind the incredible Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was hit by a car while walking yesterday. The car was being pursued by police, and struck two other cars before running a red light and hitting Reisse. Reisse was pronounced dead at the scene. [ABC Local]

Japanese teen trend: "Dragon Ball attack" selfies

"Numerous Japanese teens, it seems, are uploading photos of themselves doing the Kamehameha attack from popular manga and anime series Dragon Ball," writes Kotaku's Japan-based correspondent Brian Ashcraft. There's a photo gallery and it's awesome. Brian had an earlier post at Kotaku about the broader trend in Japan of young women staging photos with manga-style martial arts. Below, one such image found on 2ch, Japan's largest bulletin board, with the heading, "Schoolgirls Nowadays lol".

(Thanks, Brian Lam!)

Opponents Wanted: forgotten gaming mags find new life on the net

Oh, those glorious gaming magazines! From Ares, to The General, to The Dragon, the original thrill and excitement of pen ‘n’ paper gaming is there to be experienced at the Internet Archive and other online haunts.

Read the rest

Short documentary about competitive gaming tournaments

TL Taylor (author of Raising the Stakes: E-Sports and the Professionalization of Computer Gaming) talks about competitive gaming and e-sports in this short PBS documentary.

Navy SEALs in trouble for breaching secrets to Electronic Arts for "Medal of Honor Warfighter" game

Seven members of the US Navy's highly secretive SEAL Team 6, one of whom was part of the mission to kill Osama bin Laden, have been punished for disclosing classified information to game maker Electronic Arts. Four other SEALs are under investigation for similar alleged violations. They said to have given classified information to EA, for the game "Medal of Honor: Warfighter."

New Sifl and Olly episodes from Liam Lynch

[Video Link]

Oh, happy day. Genius weirdo video auteur Liam Lynch (@lynchland on Twitter) is making new episodes of "Sifl and Olly." The show originally ran on MTV from 1997-1999.

Now, the Machinima YouTube channel is publishing a new version of the show, "Sifl & Olly Video Game Reviews." Twisted Junk has an interview with Liam about the reboot, and Chris Hardwick's NERDIST has a Q&A with him here.

The September 16 recent episode (above) included a bit about pandas (around 3:05 in), and then, just like magic, a baby panda is born at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. This is a sign that all is right with the universe.

* Some DVDs of the old MTV originals are available on Amazon.

Sexism in gaming

Not a new thing for women who game, but it's great to see the New York Times devote more than a thousand words to it. The hate-filled attacks that followed Anita Sarkeesian’s Kickstarter campaign are part of the story, but so are a number of anecdotes from tournaments that expose "the severity of the harassment that many women experience in virtual gaming communities."

Asteroids MMO

Finally! the Asteroids MMO you've been waiting for, with old-school vectorbeam-style graphics. Needs more RPG elements, stat! [via Indie Games]

Essential mobile adventure games

Konstantinos Dimopoulous offers the 10 adventure games you must play on iOS. Android gamers have plenty to choose from too (albeit buried in Google Play's "Puzzle" section), including the just-released director's cut of Broken Sword.

Episode 1 of Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day's "Tabletop," a net-show about tabletop gaming sessions

Last month, I wrote about Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day's announcement of their joint project, Tabletop, a net-show that records rollicking tabletop gaming sessions. The first episode, covering the game Small World, is out, and it does not disappoint. This is 30 minutes of incredibly good fun, with a great guest list:

Wil Wheaton and guests, Sean Plott (host of "Day9TV", a Starcraft II dedicated webcast on how to be a better gamer), Grant Imahara (host of Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters"), and Jenna Busch (geek blogger, writer and host) play Small World!

WIL WHEATON dot TUMBLR, My new show, #Tabletop, premieres today. Episode...

Meet Japanese "human beatboxer" Hikakin (and prepare to be blown away by his video game theme remakes)

Video Link to a short feature on the very popular "human sound machine" Hikakin, who has a growing following within and beyond his native Japan. His YouTube channel is here, and well worth a subscribe. Below, his take on the Donkey Kong theme song.

Microsoft text adventure game!

"Microsoft has jumped onto the free-to-play bandwagon with its latest game, a text-driven adventure called Visual Studio 2010. The innovative new game marries the traditional interactive fiction text adventure with its arcane commands and exploration with the free-form, open-ended gaming" [Ars Technica, following the introduction of gamification and "achievements" to the coding app]

Male privilege vs. women in gaming

Harris O'Malley takes a run at male privilege in gaming, especially how it manifests as angry refusals to accept womens' complaints about the sexual objectification of female characters in mainstream games. "If a girl wants to see herself represented in video games, she better get used to the idea of being the prize at the bottom of the cereal box. ... It's hard to feel valued or fully included when a very vocal group insists that your input is irrelevant, misguided and ultimately unwelcome." [Kotaku]

The Tetris Effect

"The world's first commercial electronic video game, Computer Space, was released in 1971. The world's first electronic stock market, the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ), opened in 1971. The world's first scholarly journal devoted to the study of autism and autism spectrum disorders in children, The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, published its first issue in 1971." -- Justin Wolfe on gaming, the financial system and autism, at The Awl. [Thanks, Choire!]

Diablo 3 "auction house" to use real money

I've been waiting for Diablo 3 for ten years. However, Diablo 3 will now encourage players to buy and sell items for real money, which means I won't be waiting for it any more. [RPS]

Two veteran Anonymous members say group is responsible for Sony attacks

750px-Anonymous_Flag.jpg

Anonymous officially denies that it is responsible for the recent hacking attacks on Sony—well, to the extent that an entity like Anonymous is capable of doing anything "officially," or with one voice. But two hackers identified as veterans of Anonymous tell the Financial Times that the cyber-activist group, or at least cells of the group, are probably behind it.

One Anonymous member told the FT that he saw technical details of a vulnerability in Sony's network that enabled the break-in discussed on an Anonymous chatroom, shortly before the intrusion.

"The hacker that did this was supporting OpSony's movements," the Anonymous activist told the FT.

Another established member of Anonymous who participated in the hacking of security firm HBGary Federal, said it could well have been other members who subsequently hacked Sony.

"If you say you are Anonymous, and do something as Anonymous, then Anonymous did it," said the hacker, who uses the online nickname Kayla. "Just because the rest of Anonymous might not agree with it, doesn't mean Anonymous didn't do it."

Hackers admit Anonymous likely behind Sony attacks
(FT, thanks Joseph Menn)

Jeff Koons Must Die: '80s arcade game themed art piece in which you shoot Koons' work

Boing Boing pal Syd Garon points us to a wacky piece of arcade-themed art by Hunter Jonakin called "Jeff Koons Must Die."

"It's a 80's style video cabinet with a first-person-shooter game he created, where you run around a museum shooting Jeff Koons' work," says Syd. "It's pretty fucking awesome. Koons comes out to stop you, Big Boss style. I love that you end up fighting an endless wave of lawyers." From Jonakin's website:

The game is set in a large museum during a Jeff Koons retrospective. The viewer is given a rocket launcher and the choice to destroy any of the work displayed in the gallery. If nothing is destroyed the player is allowed to look around for a couple of minutes and then the game ends. However, if one or more pieces are destroyed, an animated model of Jeff Koons walks out and chastises the viewer for annihilating his art. He then sends guards to kill the player. If the player survives this round then he or she is afforded the ability to enter a room where waves of curators, lawyers, assistants, and guards spawn until the player is dead. In the end, the game is unwinnable, and acts as a comment on the fine art studio system, museum culture, art and commerce, hierarchical power structures, and the destructive tendencies of gallery goers, to name a few.

Read the rest

New blog for video game concept sketches

Got a game idea you know you'll never get around to making? Share it at Gamestorm, a new blog for game sketches, and maybe someone else will! [via Indiegames]

Onion on gamer memories

"Approximately 47 percent of Jenkins' hippocampus is dedicated to storing notable video-game victories and frustrating last-minute defeats, while 32 percent of his amygdala contains embedded neurological scripts pertaining to game strategies, character back stories, theme songs, and cheat codes."

Awesome archive of art from Sony PlayStation ads

Dozens of great ads for the Sony PlayStation, apparently from 2007-2010. Flickr Gallery here. Boing!

(Submitterator, thanks anleichter)