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Social Games: The Past, Present, and Future

Social Games: The Past, Present, and Future

The concept of “social games” is not a brand new idea that came tumbling in with Facebook. Rather, the term social game references communication, which is at the very core of most of the games humanity has played since the beginning of time. In other words, a social game is a game that involves socialization of any kind, and that includes card games, board games, dice games, video games and more. But our modern usage of the term almost exclusively...

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Can ‘CityVille’ Thrive on Google+?

Can ‘CityVille’ Thrive on Google+?

When a city is built, urban sprawl inevitably follows. The same holds true in the digital realm: Zynga’s CityVille, which sprung up on Facebook late last year, recently put down roots in Google+ as well. It’s an interesting move for Zynga, which typically stables its social games on Facebook thanks in part to a long-term contract that states FarmVille will remain on the network until 2015. A change in scenery won’t hurt Zynga, however. Despite the...

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Do Free Games Have a Place in the Classroom?

Do Free Games Have a Place in the Classroom?

Presented for your consideration: the world’s easiest question. Would school-age children be more interested in their education if video games were involved? Yes or yes? Earlier in September, Valve made its world-famous puzzle game, Portal, free to download for a limited amount of time. It’s Valve’s hope that the game will see widespread use in classrooms. After all, Portal‘s brain teasers revolve primarily around physics, and students tend...

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The Future of Game Development: Fan Funding?

The Future of Game Development: Fan Funding?

Whenever you hear the acronym “WMD,” you probably already have a preconceived notion of what it stands for, and chances are good that notion recalls the 2003 war in Iraq. Slightly Mad, the game studio behind Need for Speed: Shift hopes that its new ideas about funding will make gamers think of something else when they hear the letters WMD”–namely, “World of Mass Development.” With game development becoming increasingly expensive,...

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Do Game Developers Need to be Gamers?

Do Game Developers Need to be Gamers?

Does a video game developer also need to be a game player in order to ply his or her trade? If you enjoy games yourself, the immediate answer that jumps to mind is probably, “Of course he/she does. What kind of a stupid question is that?” But Kareem Ettouney (of LittleBigPlanet) and David Braben (of Kinectimals) have a different outlook. In a recent Gamasutra interview, both argued that while it’s important to have dedicated gamers on a dev team,...

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Do Consoles Still Need to be Region Locked?

Do Consoles Still Need to be Region Locked?

Fans of imported games and systems recently received a spot of good news about the PlayStation Vita: Sony’s handheld will be region free. Meaning, it should be fairly easy for someone with a North American Vita to import and play games from Japan on their system. Or, someone with a Japanese Vita shouldn’t have a problem playing European games on their system. Or, someone with a European version of the Vita shouldn’t have a problem playing North...

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Short Battery Life: Trouble for 3DS, PS Vita

Short Battery Life: Trouble for 3DS, PS Vita

Handheld games have come a long way since the cabbage-colored days of Game Boy titles. Portable game systems are no longer tethered by cartridges and link cables: we can buy games online and play with friends from around the world. We can also take pictures, watch movies, download demos, and access social media. Unfortunately, all these features command an additional price beyond the initial price tag: battery power. Nintendo, a company that arguably seized hold of...

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Corporate Policy: Dumbing Down Video Games?

Corporate Policy: Dumbing Down Video Games?

Interesting things happen when a console race drags on as long as this current era of the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. For the first few years of its life, the PS3 was inaccessible to the average family, because $599 USD is just a heck of a lot of money to spend on a console. The Xbox 360 was the affordable choice, though its inner works are not as powerful as the PS3’s–and there’s the system’s unfortunate habit of buckling like a spent...

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Cloud Gaming: The Future of Games?

Cloud Gaming: The Future of Games?

Playing a video game on a console used to invariably mean going to the store and browsing over a selection of CDs and/or cartridges. Then you’d pay the nice man or woman behind the counter, go home, plug the game in, and play. That’s all changed dramatically over the past half-decade. People can still buy games that have been pressed onto a shiny disc, and many still do. But we can also download games, and stream them directly to our PCs and consoles....

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Free Video Game Book: Music Games Rock

Free Video Game Book: Music Games Rock

It’s finally here! Four years in the making, we’re proud to announce the release of our latest free video game book, Music Games Rock: Rhythm Gaming’s Greatest Hits of All Time. Downloadable free at www.MusicGamesRock.com, the book is a complete guide to the music and rhythm gaming genre’s past, present and future, and explains the meteoric rise and fall of games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Charting hundreds of the field’s biggest...

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