Posts made in September, 2010

Just How Screwed is the Gaming Business?

Just How Screwed is the Gaming Business?

* Editor’s Note: Article syndicated in partnership with Gaming Business Review. Console game sales had their worst August in four years according to the latest retail receipts released by NPD Group, putting 2010 one step closer to going into the record books as a down year. Yet with the industry still holding out hope for the fall, traditionally a time of generous spending by game buyers, eyes are turning to see if the first sign of salvation might come with...

read more

Video Games: Unsafe for Kids?

Video Games: Unsafe for Kids?

According to parental advocacy group Common Sense Media, a whopping 72% of adults now support a ban on violent video games. These figures seem at striking odds with those presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which says that 82% of all games sold are for ages 17 and under, the average player is 35 years old anyways and that 64% of parents believe that games are a positive part of kids’ lives. So how to explain the discrepancy, and why...

read more

Where’s All the Cool Game Packaging Gone?

Where’s All the Cool Game Packaging Gone?

There was a time when you really got your money’s worth when you paid for a game (also, men were men, etc.). This was especially true for old PC games like Star Control II, which packed a novel-thick manual with its discs. The manual contained an extensive backstory for the game, as well as alien profiles, which gave you a good idea of why it was a bad idea to ask about the fate of the vanished Androsynth race in the presence of the Orz. Legendary text...

read more

How Disney Changes Gaming’s Future

How Disney Changes Gaming’s Future

It is not surprising that Disney would buy Playdom or Tapulous. What is surprising is that very few of the big media companies are doing very much about the breathtaking disruption in media in general. Others should be following Disney’s lead, and fast. Here’s why. Media used to be analog, passive, boxed and sold for the purpose of amusement through channels that had limited shelf space (including television).  There was very little technology involved...

read more

MMOs 2.0: The Next Frontier

MMOs 2.0: The Next Frontier

Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) have come a long way since the first virtual worlds came online. The audience is much more sophisticated. People are harder to impress and their expectations for what “quality” means have gone sky-high. Players have seen dozens of games try and not quite succeed, as development teams have pushed themselves relentlessly to make the next thing that can be awesome. At the same time, building them hasn’t...

read more

Why Do Games Still Stereotype Women?

Why Do Games Still Stereotype Women?

If someone in a gaming community says, “Hey, let’s have a conversation about the portrayal of women in games,” the response is never, ever apathetic. There is rage. There is eye-rolling. There are myriad “Get over it, ladies” and accusations of misogyny. These varied, often colorful responses indicate that the issue of women in games is as hot as it was back in 1985, when female Nintendo enthusiasts wondered aloud why Mario had to save...

read more

Funware Attacks! Games Invade Real Life

Funware Attacks! Games Invade Real Life

It’s already been a surprisingly good fall season for the concept of gameification, or making everyday activities more game-like. First, Mike Swift at the Mercury News reported that Google will seek to bring game mechanics to many different applications and features. Second, Facebook recently unveiled its Places application – the social networking giant will undoubtedly bump up its gamification offering to connect location, achievement and fun. Here are...

read more

Nintendo’s Next Move: Wii 2, 3DS, Or…?

Nintendo’s Next Move: Wii 2, 3DS, Or…?

There is a man, a rotund man, who just turned 25. His name is Mario, and he is gaming’s most recognizable mascot. If you want a spot of fun, put on a shirt that features Mario in some way, then board an elevator or other enclosed space. Kids as young as two will point at you and exclaim, “Ohh!” Their fathers and mothers will declare that you are radical. For that two-minute ride, you will be the coolest person on the planet. Then the doors will...

read more

Redefining Video Games

Redefining Video Games

Matthew Gallant recently posted on Defining Video Games over at the Quixotic Engineer. For the record, here’s the definition of video games that he proposed: Software which displays images on a video screen, interacts with a player or players, and is intended to provide challenge and/or produce an aesthetic response in the viewer. I replied that the inclusion of provide challenge was both redundant and prejudicial to a particular type of video game and could...

read more

Why Google’s Android OS is a Failure

Why Google’s Android OS is a Failure

Google has shown some recent conviction about the business of games. Relative to the Android platform, however, the company has some work to do.  The good news is that Android is ramping up and a lot of devices are selling. Android has the potential to be a platform comparable to Apple’s iOs by 2012.  But as a game platform right now, Android strikes out. It is a well-known fact that the supply of good quality games on Android lags far behind what...

read more
Page 3 of 512345