Posts made in January, 2011

Video Games Are Alive and Well, Thanks

Video Games Are Alive and Well, Thanks

Regarding David Thomas’ earlier piece Video Games Are Dead: The End is Here, it surprises me that someone who is completing a PhD in architecture would write such a focused piece on the potential death of video games by lamenting the lack of new building blocks in design. After all, aren’t architects building new structures and monuments from the same materials humans have been using for centuries? Does that mean architecture is dead? I remember...

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Eyesight, Lies, and the Nintendo 3DS

Eyesight, Lies, and the Nintendo 3DS

Supposedly, any press is good press. That’s debatable, especially as far as video gaming and health are concerned. Video games already get blamed for turning today’s kids into obese, easily-distracted lumps of dough, so Nintendo probably isn’t seeing the sunny side of the media reports about how the Nintendo 3DS can potentially damage kids’ eyesight. In the afterglow produced by the Nintendo 3DS’s huge success at E3 2010, Nintendo of...

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Games as Sports: Can Pro Gaming Succeed?

Games as Sports: Can Pro Gaming Succeed?

Do you enjoy settling into the couch and eating chips while you play video games? How would you feel about settling into the couch and eating chips while you watch someone else game? That’s the general idea with gaming as a spectator sport, which is most widely represented in North America by Major League Gaming (MLG), a “professional video game league.” Gaming is a pretty competitive pastime on its own, of course: If it’s not you against...

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Has the Digital Revolution Arrived?

Has the Digital Revolution Arrived?

Earlier in 2010, the NPD Group resolved to take a closer look at revenue from digital video game sales instead of focusing exclusively on the number of games adopted from GameStop and other retail distributors. In December, the group published a breakdown of digital video game sales across 2010. According to the numbers, 29% of 2010’s gaming sales were digital. Of that 29%, 42% were conducted through the App Store or other mobile phone distribution...

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Is Smartphone Gaming Really That Disruptive?

Is Smartphone Gaming Really That Disruptive?

What will the online gaming market look like by 2012? According to a recent report put together by analyst firm ABI Research, it’s going to have a whole lot of dollar signs stapled to it. $20 billion worth, to be exact. Analyst Michael Inouye believes the biggest area of growth will be China, though the country’s pay-as-you-go business model for online games like World of Warcraft is significantly different from North America and Europe’s...

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Why the EA Class Action Lawsuit is Bogus

Why the EA Class Action Lawsuit is Bogus

Over in California, a judge waved his magic gavel, said “Abracadabra,” and granted America the power to sue Electronic Arts. Near the end of December, District Court Judge Vaughn Walker gave the A-OK to a class action lawsuit filed against the studio. The suit accuses EA of using its exclusive NFL license as justification for jacking up the price of its Madden NFL series. Anyone who has purchased a Madden NFL game through or following 2005 can sign on...

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Video Games Are Dead: The End is Here

Video Games Are Dead: The End is Here

Physicists talk about the end of the universe. Literary critics talk about the death of the author and philosophers muse about the end of history. Maybe it’s time we starting thinking about the end of videogames. This is not to say that one day soon electronic entertainment will disappear from the planet. Instead, this thought about some sort of conclusion to the grand narrative of videogames just suggests that maybe we’ve seen about all the new stuff we...

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East vs. West: Final Fantasy XIII’s Folly

East vs. West: Final Fantasy XIII’s Folly

Making gamers happy isn’t easy: We like to complain a lot. Pleasing us is harder than ever because of the sheer volume of choices we have, not to mention the widening chasm between Japanese and Western-developed offerings. Everybody–gamers and developers alike–has their own idea about what constitutes a “Japanese” title versus a Western one, and grand generalizations abound as a result. If you’ve ever browsed through a game...

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What We Hope From PopCap in the Future

What We Hope From PopCap in the Future

2011 marks the 10th anniversary of PopCap Games, one of the biggest names in casual game development. Maybe you’d like to celebrate by baking a cake encrusted with a scattered rainbow of jewels, each the size of your fist. Or maybe you’d rather whip up something more putrid and green, like the flesh of a zombie, or the stem of a plant. PopCap Games’ CEO Dave Roberts talked to Forbes last month about the company’s past and its future. The...

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Games and Kids: Are We Being Too Strict?

Games and Kids: Are We Being Too Strict?

When you’re a parent, it seems as if freaks and weirdos are coiled in every shadow, ready to strike and drag your child away into some unimaginable nightmare. In reality–well, there are quite a number of freaks and weirdos out there, but maybe not as many as screaming headlines claim. But even one incident is one too many for a parent, which is why video game companies and industry experts want to help them monitor their kids’ online gaming habits...

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