Tag Archives: technology

The Next Big Thing in Video Games

Oh, you think the next big video game thing is virtual reality? Guess again, pal.

This new thing is completely wireless, completely disc-less and completely machine-free. We send you a spandex outfit. Yes, you become the video game character.

Try it on and try it out this Christmas!

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Remember When Video Games Were Black and White?

That’s when they made games that had real substance. There were no crazy colours, no mind bending alternate realities or fancy buttons. Everything was simple and straightforward, as it should always be.

I remember that buying games was less complicated too. Why, in my day, we walked five hectares through hail sleet and snow just to buy a game, and we were better off for it. Can’t we have those days back?

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Filed under Video Game Misc., Video Game Technology

How to Make a Great Video Game

Chef’s Note

At first, I thought this recipe only provided a developer’s perspective on how to make a great video game. But, as a gamer, I realized that my recipe would look very similar to a developer’s. I either want the ingredients listed below, or I experience some of these feelings while playing a great game. The developer might feel a sense of accomplishment after they finish making a complex game and ship it. I might feel a sense of accomplishment after I beat their challenging work. This recipe should work for everyone.

Ingredients

  • 15 pounds of love
  • 9 pounds of fun
  • 5 pounds of creativity
  • 8 cups of joy
  • 5 cups of wonder and awe
  • 2 heaping cups of beauty
  • 1 cup of a sense of accomplishment
  • 1/4 cup of sweat
  • 2 tablespoons of challenge
  • 1 level tablespoon of  immersion (not too much so as to avoid addiction)
  • a pinch of anger (optional – depending on mood and temperament)
  • a pinch of frustration (optional – depending on mood and temperament)
  • code and other technical stuff for garnish

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until combined. Pour mixture into baking tray and cook for 50 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately with fresh microchips.


What’s your recipe for a great video game?

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Why Video Games Should Play Themselves

Human beings are imperfect. How many times have you walked down the street and seen someone’s pants fall down as they bend down to tie their shoe laces? I bet you’ve seen it a lot. Well, it happens in video games too. No, I’m not talking about your pants falling down; I’m talking about embarrassing failures.

There are endless opportunities for embarrassing epic failures in video games. Falling over and over again to your death. Missing the boss’s weak spots, and instead, having him tenderize you for dinner. Falling asleep while eating or texting instead of beating the game. Throwing the controller and destroying it. Throwing a controller that flies in the air and wacks a friend on the head. Worst of all, throwing a controller that sails thoughtlessly through the air and smashes your T.V. The horror!

But it doesn’t need to be like this!

New video game technology will save us from ourselves.  If we just let games play themselves we could maximize successful game playing productivity while dramatically decreasing human error. Well, enough geek speak. In lay person’s terms, there will be “no more tears.”

But think of all the time heartache you’ll save. You can watch as the computer customizes your characters, embarks on an adventure, fights your battles for you, slays the dragons and marries your princess or prince. Occasionally, the computer will malfunction and you might need to take control and play the video game for up to one minute. But we guarantee to keep your play time to a minimum — or your money back.

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Filed under Video Game Technology, Video Game Trends

When Technology Lets You Down

Outside, young bodies were in motion on a day so sunny that sunglasses and smiles were mandatory. Everyone rode bicycles, roller-bladed and seemed to celebrate.

It’s broken.

Outside, a child ran, skipped and munched loudly on sweet corn on the cob.

It’s broken.

Outside, people danced, popped open champagne bottles and roared with laughter.

It’s broken!

Indoors, the insides of the box stopped working. My video game console wheezed, coughed and croaked last generation. Future generations: don’t put your faith in technology.


What’s the worst problem you’ve ever had with a video games console?

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Reason Before Passion in the Console Wars

next gen console warsSometimes the console wars go over the top. Now, people argue about things that don’t matter to blow off steam. I get it. That’s fine. But game arguments can spiral out of control and become console wars.

In these conflicts, crazed fans toss insults at each other like grenades thrown at enemies in a battle. However, the casualties in this video game war are brain cells, not scores of soldiers. The wars become a deadly Molotov cocktail-like mix of game preferences, ignorance and anger.

One can tell when an argument about consoles has spiraled out of control. There is no more reason. No love for others. Total war destroys all of these. Gamers in these wars have an unhealthy love of machines and spew venom on others. That is what defines a console war.

This unhealthy love is nothing new. Console wars have raged for many years, and they have intensified as we await the release of the new machines. Microsoft’s policy reversals and rumours about boxes have given hawkish gamers the chance to start a battle. These hawks have a simple rallying cry: “My next-gen console is better than yours.”

However, gamers cannot say yet that one next-gen console is better than the other. The reason is simple: the consoles are not available yet. Some might counter that we know much about these consoles already, but we still have much to learn. And the console makers could make drastic changes to their machines after we buy them.

How could anyone argue about “the best console” until they have played all the machines? After they’ve tried all the consoles, and maybe after they’ve waited until the end of that generation, gamers can then ask some questions. Gamers could ask themselves if Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo, did what they set out to do. Did they keep their promises?

Of course, a good part of this assessment involves games, not just boxes. We can talk about boxes all we want. But at the end of the day, gamers are – surprise! – enamored with games. At the very least, wait until the games come out before you judge the consoles.

Even after the games come out, it may take many years of hindsight before you can say one console was “better” than another. And then you still have to figure out standards to judge these machines.

The console wars are pointless. The opponents in these conflicts can agree they both love video games. Instead of arguing, these people could discuss their love for games. Better yet, they could spend time playing together and lay down their arms. I’m sure most people prefer fun over war.

 

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Interview with A Crotchety, Crusty and Old Console

Interview with a video game consoleSoon the next-gen consoles will rot your brains with the latest mind bending games. You’ll forget all about the current consoles. For posterity’s sake, I sat down and asked the older generation for their views on life and games.

Read on for my exclusive interview with a last gen console. We get up close and personal. I ask the hard questions and probe the dark corners of its psyche.

All of my questions are bold, and the console’s appear below in normal text.

Me: (Cough) Could you put out your cigarette, please?

A: Sheeesh what a picky person you are. Alright, boss, you got it, but I’m not dumping my Scotch just yet.

Me: So how are you?

A: I’m exhausted. My owners busted my disc tray all day. Before that, I was outta commission for a week when a baby shoved peanut butter inside of me. Talk about a sticky situation!

I wish my owners would stop putting their sticky paws all over my controllers. I wish they would stop playing late at night and leaving me on all day. I need rest too! Sometimes I want to zap them with my power cord.

But, to answer your question, I’m alright.

Me: What are you most proud of as a console from the last generation?

A: I haven’t yet taken a dirt nap. I haven’t fallen prey to a high failure rate.

Me: Yes, failure rates have been in the news this generation. From a console’s perspective, can you explain what it feels like to fail?

A:Well, it’s like this: there comes a time in every console’s life when we have to leave the living room. That’s a sad fact.

But that’s just the nature of a console. We start as a loose collection of chips and circuits, and we return to that loose collection in the end.

When we die off, sometimes we land in the dump. Some of us get crippling injuries and need repair. We languish in a sweaty customer service shop and hope for the best while phones ring all day.

We all have to go one day, but we get to play and bring a lot of joy to people along the way. It’s an honour to live, work and play as a console.

Me: That’s very deep. From a console’s perspective, what do you think about used games and preventing people from playing used games?

A: I have no real opinion about used games. But I hope more people pick up games because that means more playing with me. It gets awfully lonely to sit there and collect dust all month. Trust me, some of my friends who are Wiis have told me all about the horrors of dust.

Me: So are you looking forward to downloadable games replacing physical games?

A: Meh, I’ll believe it when I see it, Mac.

Me: Are video games art?

A: Well, feast your eyes on this beast (points toward itself). If nothing else, I am a work of art. At least that’s what your mother says all the time.

Me: Now that’s just uncalled for and rude. Moving on, what’s the future of video games?

A: We’ll take over the world! There will be better graphics, more immersion, better access to games, more great independent games, and world peace. That’s just a start, though that last one might take a long time.

***

There you have it: my interview with a crotchety old console. What questions would you ask? I might be able to ask it a couple more and publish an update.

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