Posts made in December, 2010

What Mature Ratings Mean to Video Games

What Mature Ratings Mean to Video Games

The country of Australia (which is on the cusp of summer right now, and oh-so toasty warm) still lacks a video game rating equivalent to the ESRB’s “Mature” (M) classification. That means games with adult content can’t be legally sold in the country. As it stands, a game with adult content is either classified on a lower tier as “MA15+,” or else any violent/sexual content is edited so that the game is appropriate for teenagers....

read more

Video Games: The Future of Family Time

Video Games: The Future of Family Time

As we’re in the holiday season, and a lot of us spend more time together than usual, I’ve been thinking about how family time is being redefined by gaming. Long ago, families used to sit around the coffee table and play a variety of board games like Monopoly or Life. That trend gave way to a lot of tube time with a mix of holiday TV specials and family-themed annual shows and movies like The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and Elf. However, in the last couple of...

read more

Motion Controls: Designing for Tomorrow

Motion Controls: Designing for Tomorrow

Microsoft’s Kinect and Sony’s PlayStation Move have sold millions of units each, and that number only stands to rise as the holiday season reaches a boil. What does it all mean? Combined with the massive success of the Wii–which experienced a bit of a downward swing this year, but Nintendo isn’t exactly selling pencils out of a tin cup on a street corner–motion controls are not going anywhere, except into your living room. Even if the...

read more

The Future of Social Games

The Future of Social Games

If you frequent social networks like Facebook, you’ve probably had at least one friend or relative recently pester you to visit them. Not in their hometown, mind, but in the virtual city they’ve put together in video games like CityVille, Zynga’s latest “Ville”-type social gaming title that aims to gobble up players’ time–and (Zynga hopes) money. The premise is familiar, in more ways than one: Build a city, try not to...

read more

PSP 2: Is It Really “Dead on Arrival?”

PSP 2: Is It Really “Dead on Arrival?”

Portable handheld games. Portable handheld games everywhere. What was once a niche market dominated by Nintendo is rapidly becoming the mobile pastime of choice for a culture that’s constantly on the go. By this time next year, trying to decide between spending your money on the iPhone, the Nintendo 3DS, or the (currently unofficial) PSP 2 will be as treacherous as navigating a tightrope with railroad spikes jammed in your eyes. What if you throw your money...

read more

Amazon.com Will Rule the Game Industry

Amazon.com Will Rule the Game Industry

Amazon.com wants to rule the video game universe. And guess what? It will, possibly even sooner than anyone expects. The company actually told me so a few weeks back when I spoke to two of many Amazonians charged with rebuilding their games business into the industry Gigantor.  The message was, “We already do pretty well, but we wouldn’t do this if it was only going to be a several-hundred-million dollar business. We know there’s a multi-billion dollar...

read more

Does Cloud Gaming Have a Future?

Does Cloud Gaming Have a Future?

If you take a step back and take a good focused look at the games industry, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, consoles, handhelds, iOS, indie developers, big-budget titles, Steam, PC, Mac, XBLA, Playstation Network, WiiWare–all of them are vying for your attention and money in the name of distraction and entertainment. On a gloomy day, it all comes off as being terribly plastic and shallow. Then all it takes is an...

read more

Video Game Novels: Do People Read Them?

Video Game Novels: Do People Read Them?

If you visit a book store, you might find a little pocket of space dedicated to video game-based novels. These aren’t a new idea. Paperbacks based on Nintendo games popped up pretty frequently in the ’80s and early ’90s, particularly at school book fares populated by kids who were instructed to choose a book, or else. Nobody really wants to see the return of F.X. Nine’s World of Power series, but there’s a guilty sort of pleasure that...

read more

The History of Motion Controls

The History of Motion Controls

The minute that mankind invented the video game and gaming controller was the same minute that humanity began looking for ways to throw that selfsame controller away. Trackballs, joysticks, keyboards, mice, wheels, d-pads… Despite their effectiveness at helping Mario get from Point A to B, these accessories have long been regarded as some breed of beast that stands between the player and a truly immersive gaming experience. Enter motion controls and active...

read more

Why Nintendo Should Return to CES

Why Nintendo Should Return to CES

The last time Nintendo made a big appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), SquareSoft’s SNES RPG masterpiece Chrono Trigger was a major preview, and audiences murmured about the N64, Saturn, and PlayStation. Shortly thereafter, Nintendo detached itself from CES in favor of a fresh start at E3, which has served as the industry’s premier trade show ever since. In November, word got around that Nintendo would be returning as a CES exhibitor this...

read more
Page 3 of 41234