Posts made in September, 2010

Who is the Real Wii Audience?

Who is the Real Wii Audience?

I attended a wedding on September 11, which, to the bride and groom’s credit, makes for an unforgettable anniversary date. Vows were exchanged, rings were bonded to fingers. I celebrated by tucking into a couple of pints of Rickard’s Red. A gaunt werewolf of a man joined my husband and I shortly, and started talking about video games without any provocation. Interesting that, seeing as we didn’t wear our matching Zelda shirts for the ceremony. We...

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Are Educational MMOs Failing Students?

Are Educational MMOs Failing Students?

Many video game fans and professionals like the idea of educational massively multiplayer online games (or at least acknowledging the real learning opportunities present in entertainment MMOs). Similarly, educators like the idea of gamified curriculum to engage what they perceive as a gamer generation of kids, so there has been momentum for educational MMOs for many years now. There are two general approaches that I have noticed again and again in discussions...

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Can Video Games Save TV Commercials?

Can Video Games Save TV Commercials?

Gameplay during commercials may be an effective way to get more people to pay attention to sponsored ads on broadcast television. Interestingly, it is very rare to see any type of contest or game-like promotion to reward people for watching commercials, even though that behavior is highly desirable to broadcast advertisers. Just a few questions worth asking ourselves when it comes to video games and TV commercials include: Can gameplay be used as incentives...

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Gaming is the New TV

Gaming is the New TV

A battle has been unfolding in recent years as immersive 3D games have declined while casual, social and mobile games have arisen. The industry silos that make the immersive console and PC games blamed their slump on the general economy or console cycles. In fairness, their games are amazing and incredible. The trailers for these games make them look like blockbuster movie releases; how could they possibly go into decline? But this part of the industry ...

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Extend Any Game’s Shelf Life

Extend Any Game’s Shelf Life

In the fire-and-forget world of retail antiquity, we have traditionally excused game developers and publishers from putting real long-term thought into their games’ online features. But times have changed: The idea of “games as a service” carries more weight with each release cycle, as consumers (thanks in part to a drawn-out recession and to now-ubiquitous broadband) demand both online connectivity and extended value from the games for which they have...

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Real Life vs. MMOs: Disturbing Parallels

Real Life vs. MMOs: Disturbing Parallels

“My life is an MMO!” That’s the answer I got from a twenty-something employee of mine last week when I asked what the latest online game he was playing was. Feeling like he was about to go all William Gibson on me, I instantly turned to go, but he would have none of it. “It’s like, way back in the day, 2008 or so, I would get up in the morning, log a few hours of World of Warcraft or Eve or something, head off to work, grab a few more hours during...

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Playing as the Taliban: Why It’s Important

Playing as the Taliban: Why It’s Important

When I read that UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox was disgusted by Medal of Honor – particularly the appearance of the Taliban in it – I sighed. It’s exactly the kind of opinion that prevents video games from getting due respect. In this case, it’s also completely unfounded. In a genre designed to let gamers experience some of history’s most important events firsthand – D-Day, the Battle of Stalingrad, the US Invasion of Iraq – it’s no wonder the...

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Beyond DRM: New Anti-Piracy Measure

Beyond DRM: New Anti-Piracy Measure

Digital Rights Management, or DRM, has been touted as a piracy preventer by entertainment and gaming manufacturers while being blasted by end users as restrictive and ineffective against illegal downloading and copying of electronic media. One gaming company has heard the cries of the players and is releasing its latest title without DRM. While the firm isn’t inviting pirates to copy its game, it does think it’s found a way to keep its customers...

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Used Games: The Next Big Revolution

Used Games: The Next Big Revolution

* Editor’s Note: Article syndicated in partnership with Gaming Business Review. Much like clumsy gamers who keep restarting what they’re playing, the biggest retailers in the US are looking beyond known hurdles and recent stumbles to once again chase a slice of the used video game market. Target and Best Buy revealed details of vigorous new programs aimed at luring used game traders and building their stock of pre-owned products. The pair follows in the...

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Music Games Hit a Sour Note

Music Games Hit a Sour Note

Contemporary music video games have failed us. A genre with plenty of untapped potential has devolved from games with plots and quirky characters/graphical elements to a genre stripped down to colored symbols, and heavy reliance on turn-a-quick-buck DLC. And it’s infinitely frustrating. I love Guitar Hero/Rock Band/ DJ Hero as much as the next guy who’s always held fantasies of wearing tight jeans, lace, and some form of animal print, but whenever I see...

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