Posts made in May, 2011

ESRB Video Game Ratings: Still Working?

ESRB Video Game Ratings: Still Working?

You probably feel a bit disheartened whenever the media latches on to a story about some act of youth violence that is twisted to blame a Mature (M-rated) video game that no child has any business playing. Cheer up then: According to a US-based study by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), more and more stores are barring kids from buying games that have been rated M by the ESRB. The study, conducted through secret shoppers, determined that only 13 percent of the...

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Can Call of Duty Keep Going Strong?

Can Call of Duty Keep Going Strong?

Call of Duty is one of the most successful video games franchises currently on the market. What kind of longevity can we expect from the series? Before you answer, consider this important tidbit: The Call of Duty franchise is the lucrative property of Activision, the same publisher that ran the seemingly unstoppable Guitar Hero series into the ground. In fact, two internal memos published by Activision in February and leaked to GiantBomb address outside worry that...

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Socal Games: Is There Hope for MySpace?

Socal Games: Is There Hope for MySpace?

Do you have a MySpace account? Better question: Did you have a MySpace account? Most users who haunted MySpace in their early teen years secretly hope that a selective computer virus will someday gnaw away every crumb of their old profile – the glittery .gifs, the pop music embeds, the angst over parental rules that are “sooooo unfair.” Once upon a time, MySpace was an ideal venue for young teens who needed a small corner of the Web in which to store...

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Game Charities: How to Donate, Give Back

Game Charities: How to Donate, Give Back

Video games can be regarded as the ultimate privilege. Game consoles are bundles of plastic, wires, and microchips that were engineered exclusively to please us, and the companies that make these systems fund multimillion-dollar commercials that fight like tomcats for our attention. When you pause what you’re playing to really take that all in, it’s easy to feel–well, guilty. Children across America are going to bed hungry, to say nothing about...

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Games for Girls: Best Picks for All Ages

Games for Girls: Best Picks for All Ages

Although playing videogames is often characterized as a hobby for young males, the truth is that girls of all ages play videogames as much as boys. I recently talked to 10 different girls, each a different age, to find out their favorite games. Their comments shed light on some key ideas to consider for anyone looking to buy games for their daughters, nieces or any young girl. Girls Are Looking For Connection And Dream Fulfillment – One thing that many of the...

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MMORPG Business: How to Compete Online

MMORPG Business: How to Compete Online

One of the tougher video game genres to break into if you’re a developer is the massively multiplayer online and massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMOG/MMORPG) genre. World of Warcraft rules over paying subscribers with an orc’s fist, and elsewhere across the Internet, the free to play model competes for the time and money of a very over-stimulated user base. Regardless, ambitious publishers seek to contribute to the genre, as they may as...

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Retail Games vs. Free and Budget Apps

Retail Games vs. Free and Budget Apps

The rift in pricing between iPhone games and blockbuster retail releases is pretty expansive. The price for the average video game on the App Store is 99 cents. The price for an average retail release is around $59.99 USD. If your development studio dedicates most of its resources to making retail games, how do you compete against the pull of games that are not only cheap, but very convenient to purchase? Epic Games’ president, Mike Capps, recently admitted...

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Why Isn’t Kinect Living Up to Promises?

Why Isn’t Kinect Living Up to Promises?

When Microsoft’s motion-sensing Kinect camera concept came to light, some of us had fantasies about turning our living rooms into the Bat Cave and bossing around our high-tech game systems with physical gestures and voice commands. Six months since the launch of the Kinect, most of us are still using our controllers to navigate our Xbox 360 dashboard – including the folks who bought a Kinect at launch. Oddly enough, while the Kinect is still young, but...

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Is There a Future For Handheld Systems?

Is There a Future For Handheld Systems?

It’s a transitional time for video gaming, and nowhere is that transition more evident than in the handheld portable video games market. Up until a few years ago, Nintendo was unquestionably the king of portable gaming. Sony made an impressive showing with the PSP, especially in Japan, but ultimately spent most of its time skulking around at Nintendo’s feet. Then, all of a sudden, the iPhone nuzzled up to the Nintendo DS and said “hi.” Now...

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The Problem With Core Games on Facebook

The Problem With Core Games on Facebook

Can social games for Facebook attract a more hardcore or traditional video gaming audience? Zynga probably won’t test that idea by turning FarmVille into a first-person shooter (don’t let us discourage you from launching a letter-writing campaign), but an Argentine social game company called MetroGames is ready to try wooing core gamers to Facebook. Its first effort is Auto Hustle, a game that is heavily inspired by the original Grand Theft Auto, to put...

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