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