"It's-a Him, Mario!" This man was the voice of Mario and Luigi

Charles Martinet has been the voice of Nintendo's Mario, Wario, and Luigi for 26 years. (Great Big Story) Read the rest

How Shigero Miyamoto, legendary creator of Zelda and Mario Bros., designs a game

"I think that it was in my generation that people who made video games really became designers rather than technologists," Shigero Miyamoto says.

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The story of the world's worst videogame

For better or worse, video game designer/programmer Howard Scott Warshaw is perhaps best known for the Atari 2600 game "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" (1982). That game is considered by many to be the worst video game in history and blamed for driving the video game industry crash of 1983. (To be fair, it wasn't entirely Warshaw's fault. He was also the talented developer behind the classic Yars' Revenge and other fine titles.) Above is the Big Story of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Warshaw, now a psychotherapist in Silicon Valley.

And in case you missed it, the film Atari: Game Over is a wonderful documentary about E.T. and the mass burial of unsold copies of the game.

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Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto and The Roots perform the "Super Mario Bros." theme

Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Donkey Kong, Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and countless other videogame masterpieces, sits in with Questlove and The Roots.

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Gamers blindly navigate a digital maze with input only from brain stimulation

In a new experiment at the University of Washington, test subjects navigated a virtual maze without seeing it. The only input they had were cues delivered in the form of magnetic zaps to the backs of their heads, stimulating particular regions of their brains. From UW Today:

The subjects had to navigate 21 different mazes, with two choices to move forward or down based on whether they sensed a visual stimulation artifact called a phosphene, which are perceived as blobs or bars of light. To signal which direction to move, the researchers generated a phosphene through transcranial magnetic stimulation, a well-known technique that uses a magnetic coil placed near the skull to directly and noninvasively stimulate a specific area of the brain.

“The way virtual reality is done these days is through displays, headsets and goggles, but ultimately your brain is what creates your reality,” said senior author Rajesh Rao, UW professor of Computer Science & Engineering and director of the Center for Sensorimotor Neural Engineering.

“The fundamental question we wanted to answer was: Can the brain make use of artificial information that it’s never seen before that is delivered directly to the brain to navigate a virtual world or do useful tasks without other sensory input? And the answer is yes.”

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New role playing game has clever text-based ascii animation

Stone Story is an RPG coming soon to Steam. From the developer:

Stone Story is an RPG set in a dark and vile world. The game's fluid ASCII art is painstakingly animated in plain text by a single insane game developer. Currently in closed alpha, the game features 6 locations to explore, 4 boss fights, mind-blowing ASCII cutscenes and plenty of loot to discover. Much more content is planned once the project reaches beta.

The casual play contrasts with the retro visuals, providing a unique experience that blends nostalgia with modern design principles. One of the game's defining mechanics is that you have no direct control of the player character. You choose what items to equip and which locations to visit, while an artificial intelligence does all the exploring, combat and looting. An expansive item crafting system allows you to combine otherwise disposable items--rewarding experimentation and making full use of all the gathered loot.

Stone Story will be published on the web, Win, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android. Initial language support will be English, Portuguese and Chinese. Further localization will be added based on regional stats.

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Wonderful guitar cover of Super Mario World music

Samuraiguitarist Steve Onotera created this fantastic cover of the Super Mario World music including sound effects made on his guitar. (via Laughing Squid)

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Now, THIS is how to sell Nintendo!

Nintendo sales training video from 1992. Er, as the fellow says, "Hasta Luigi, baby."

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Happy anniversary to the coolest Let's Play grandma on YouTube!

One year ago, grandmother Shirley Curry started posting impossibly charming Let's Play videos while playing Skyrim to connect with her grandkids. They are delightful to watch and listen to. Read the rest

Peak Pokémon Go has already passed

A new report from Axiom Capital Management suggests that Pokémon Go is on a downward trend in daily active users and engagement of those users. The data comes from Sensor Tower, SurveyMonkey, and Apptopia.

Additionally, "The Google Trends data is already showing declining interest in augmented reality, whereas interest in virtual reality remains high," says senior analyst Victor Anthony.

(Bloomberg Markets)

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Watch a hamster clear a Super Mario Bros. level

Like an 8-bit Habitrail. Read the rest

King of Kong also the Prince of Pac-Man

Remember Billy Mitchell, the star of excellent videogame documentary The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters? In 1999, the Donkey Kong champ was also the first person confirmed to attain a perfect score on Pac-Man.

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Take a nostalgic trip through the "Art of Atari"

The Art of Atari is a new hardcover celebrating the wonderful illustrations of the iconic game company's packaging, catalogs, and other artwork that, according to the book's introduction written by Ernest "Ready Player One" Cline, was "specially commissioned to enhance the Atari experience to further entice children and adults to embrace the new era of electronic entertainment." Speaking from personal experience, it totally worked.

The Art of Atari (Amazon)

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Fantastic Street Fighter chalk art animation

Chalk artist Chris Carlson created a fantastic 3D mural of Street Fighter that comes to life.

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Fantastic fingertip synth performance of Commodore 64 game music

Tubesockor pokes away at three Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators to play the music from the 1987 Commodore 64 classic game Delta. The original game music is by Rob Hubbard, inspired by Philip Glass's "Koyaanisqatsi" and Pink Floyd's "On the Run." Clips from the game below! (Thanks, UPSO!)

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Crystal meth found in pawned Sega Genesis

A gentleman in Moultrie, Georgia pawned his Sega Genesis console but was arrested later after the pawn shop employees found a stash of crystal meth in the console's cartridge slot.

According to WALB, "There was no word on whether the Sega Genesis console was in working condition." Read the rest

A young boy plays through video game history

At The Message, BB pal Andy Baio wrote a fantastic piece about the experiment he is running with his ten-year-old son: What happens when a 21st-century kid plays through video game history in chronological order? Read the rest

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