Posts made in March, 2011

Does Playing Games Equal Real Productivity?

Does Playing Games Equal Real Productivity?

Do you enjoy playing video games? Jane McGonigal, a published author and game designer, believes deep happiness and top productivity can be achieved by playing more games–lots more games. Take that, boss. Take that, mom and dad. “Playing games is the single most productive thing we can do with our time,” McGonigal said at her PAX East panel which was reportedly branded “The Discrete Science of Why Games Make You a CONTAGIOUS VECTOR of...

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Cloud Gaming: When Will it Matter?

Cloud Gaming: When Will it Matter?

If you’re a betting person, now’s a good time to lay down coin on the future of the games industry. Where is games distribution headed? Which option will dominate a decade down the road? Will retail still be clinging with a bulldog grip? Will we be downloading everything to a hard drive? Will we be streaming games? Or will we be turning to a method of distribution that is a hybrid of all those options? Zynga’s new Vice President Lou Castle thinks...

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Top Board Games to Make Video Games

Top Board Games to Make Video Games

Video games are awesome, but let us not forget the long-lived appeal of board games. These analogue time-passers have withstood the test of decades, and for good reason. There’s nothing like enjoying a game of Monopoly with a good glass of scotch next to the fireplace (but not too close). Even though playing a board game is an irreplaceable tactile experience, many of those games would benefit if they were granted a digital alternative. Digital board games...

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iPad 2 vs. NGP: Handheld Games Battle

iPad 2 vs. NGP: Handheld Games Battle

Apple’s iPad 2 adds another contender to the increasingly crowded handheld gaming market. A niche that was once exclusively Nintendo’s domain is suddenly filled to the brim with palm-sized systems jostling one another and aching for the buyer’s attention. The iPad 2, however, isn’t quite as portable as some of the available systems, nor is it as portable as some of the systems that are waiting in the wings. That doesn’t matter,...

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Top 10 Game Controllers and Accessories

Top 10 Game Controllers and Accessories

When PCs and video game controllers and consoles first came home, several engineers wondered “Hey, let’s try throwing extra bits of plastic at these things and discovering if any of it enhances the gameplay experience!” Thousands of years later, we still see extra PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii controllers, accessories and peripherals that stick to game consoles like parasites on a shark’s belly. Some serve as little more than dumpsters in which to...

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Game Developer, Tester Jobs: Get Hired

Game Developer, Tester Jobs: Get Hired

Breaking into the world of video game tester jobs and earning an official game tester salary or getting a full-time job as a game developer (artist, programmer, audio/sound engineer, etc.) doesn’t require fancy degrees, insider knowledge or a well-connected ex-roommate. Better still, anyone can do it right from home and get started overnight. But it’s not necessarily easy. Leading game companies receive thousands of queries from eager job seekers hoping...

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Does Digital Distribution Suck?

Does Digital Distribution Suck?

Oh, the happy medium. It just keeps evading humanity and all its endeavors. At Game Developers Conference (GDC) earlier this month, Trip Hawkins, the CEO of Digital Chocolate and founder of EA, ranted a little about the industry’s inability to meet in the middle on game licensing and distribution. Nintendo’s introduction of developer licenses was hardly ideal, Hawkins says, but on the flip side, we have Apple shoveling too much content onto the App...

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Are Console Games Dying?

Are Console Games Dying?

Peter Vesterbacka, the owner of Rovio and by extension the big daddy behind Angry Birds, claims that console games are “dying.” Automatic response: No, they’re not. A more careful response crafted after observation of recent console sales: No, they’re not. Vesterbacka made his declaration on a panel at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin. Innovation, Vesterbacka said, belongs to the mobile platforms, where developers can...

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How Safe is Facebook’s Social Games Scene?

How Safe is Facebook’s Social Games Scene?

The games industry and press talks a lot about “social games,” but sometimes we just go right for the brand and call them “Facebook games.” Player requests from titles like Zynga’s Mafia Wars and “Ville” series are the joy (and/or bane) of Facebook users who just want to hop online for a moment and see pictures of their drunk friends doing something regrettably stupid. Said people could feasibly switch to another social...

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Why is Kinect Outselling PlayStation Move?

Why is Kinect Outselling PlayStation Move?

This time last year, many of us were snickering at Microsoft’s “Project Natal” (aka Kinect) and taking bets on the size of the crater the camera unit would leave behind when the concept inevitably bombed. Now, with ten million Kinect units sold since November, only Microsoft is laughing–not only at our sheepishly hung heads, but at Sony’s PlayStation Move. Despite seeming like a much surer thing than the Kinect a year ago, the motion...

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