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Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

Why Do We Love Video Games?

Posted by Keith Webster
severedBy Keith A. Webster Jr.
I have written a series of articles about the world of video games. From its origins to its adaptation to the social environment today, it is fair to close these articles on a high note.The subject: Why do we love video games? I can honestly say that video games have become part of my life not only as a fan, but as a social individual that identifies with other gamers that have the same passion and interest in different video game genres. So I have identified four main reasons why gamers love video games. See if you agree with any of them:First, video games allow us to break away from the harsh realities of the real world. We all have our bad days and just want to relax in an environment that is stress free. Well video games offer that independence. Video games allow us to out our aggression and negative inner emotions to wreak havoc on an unreal model of subjects.But this does not mean that gamers are angry individuals, it just means that when we want to unload our stress, we simply find the means to channel that energy and transfer it to something else. It is the simple law of physics; energy is neither created nor destroyed; however, video games let us vent that energy into a virtual environment.

Second, video games have often brought out the little kid in all of us. When it is time to play, we as humans are brought back to the times when fun time literally meant fun time. This could last from thirty minutes to endless hours of button pushing, open dialogue, and constant movement on the television screen. We play video games because there is no outside control to invade our space. Not to say that video games are the leading cause of breakups, because men and women of all ages play video games.

Thanks to internet game play, the social identity of video game collaboration is more appealing to gamers all over the world. Therefore, fun time never seems to end when it comes to playing video games.

Third, instead of sitting on the couch all day you can actually workout with video games. Nintendo became a huge hit with its Wii console, and ever since then workout games have been launched into the Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Getting fit has been the life goal for men and women of all ages, but that does not necessarily mean they have to get a gum membership. Video games have given those individuals the freedom to workout in their own home by experiencing the same exercises you would normally get at a local gym. Adults can fully take advantage of this new trend and still be a gamer at the same time!

Finally, the reason why we love video games is because they can be found anywhere. I am not just talking about game consoles, but also the smartphone, tablet/IPad, and computer. As the next generation enters this world, the creation of video games will adapt to them in a more nonlinear platform.

The success of creating video games and attracting gamers of all ages will definitely have a positive effect in the world. Video games will forever be embedded into the souls of gamers and will continue to attract newer audiences with innovative developments and creative masterpieces. No one will ever get bored with mundane activities or feel negative energy as long as they have something to play with, and that will forever be the influential video game.



Does the Arcade Fire Still Rage?

Posted by Michele McMillan

ArcadeBy Michele McMillan

I frequently begin small electronics projects, but lately I have wanted to do an arcade machine. When I started thinking it over I realized how lonely other arcade machines in my neighborhood had become. Was it because of the graphics? Was it because of the controllers? Was it because kids today have mobile devices? Maybe people don’t carry change like they used to? I know I am a swipe and griper. I know plenty of arcade machines that get a lot of love. There are many retro-arcade machine spots popping up around Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities, but they aren’t really targeted to youth. It seems it is more to target those with a sense of nostalgia for it. So I puzzle the question again… Is there a life for the modern arcade machine? Or is it best to leave well enough alone? Are home consoles supreme? Are there opportunities for arcade machines the console does not provide left to be explored?










10 Films About or Inspired by Games and Why

Posted by Michele McMillan

Mortal KombatBy Michele McMillan

1) One of my favorite films of all time is Mortal Combat
2) Super Mario Brothers – because we went to the magic shop before
3) Tomb Raider – she’s a woman and I played it 3 times
4) Jumanji – good movie, stolen from a friend’s list on facebook
5) Tekken – Was there a movie? The video game had little movies at the end, maybe I just liked those, but they definitely qualify as short films
6) Grand Theft Auto – I have never played this game, but I love watching it being played
7) Reboot – This list is in no particular order, but this was a seriously good show with some feature lengths
8) Sonic the HedgeHog – Another animated one, but a solid family console game and lovable character
9) Resident Evil – Duh! Action, girl, guns, evil dead things go great with popcorn and icee.
10) Prince of Persia – Why? I didn’t like the game, but I was hoping the movie would be better. In fact, this article was formerly called my top 10 list, but I felt I needed to include some diversity in my list










BattletoadsBy Sarah Howell

Rare Ltd. Is a British video game developer located in Twycross, Leicestershire. The company was founded in 1985 by Tim and Chris Stamper, both ex-arcade developers. In its origins, Rare mostly worked on Nintendo Entertainment System games. Their successful games included Wizards & Warriors, Battletoads, andR .C. Pro-Am. In 1994, Rare elevated to be a second-party developer for Nintendo and gained international recognition with games like GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie, Perfect Dark Donkey Kong Country and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. In 2002, the company was purchased by Microsoft and has shifted their focus to developing games exclusively for Microsoft’s consoles.

Both Stampers later claimed that they had grown dissatisfied with their games for 8-bit home computers like ZX Spectrum, and became interested as early as 1983. They became specifically interested in the development of Nintendo Entertainment System(NES) games. Rare released their first title, Slalom, which was a skiing game that was originally released for the Nintendo Vs.

Throughout the next four years, the company continued to create over 40 NES games as well as multiple Game Boy conversions. Examples included Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll, Captain Skyhawk, Wizards & Warriors, R.C. Pro-Am and possibly their most popular game, Battletoads.

When the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, SNES, was conceived, Rare limited their releases and decided to invest their NES profit in expanding their work stations. This made Rare one of, if not the most advanced developer in the UK, and spurred them higher in the international market.

In 1994, Nintendo bought a majority stake in the company, turning Rare into a Nintendo second-party developer. During this time, Rare began marketing their games under the name “Rareware.” Rare was considered one of Nintendo’s key developers and later created Donkey Kong Country to critical acclaim, selling over eight million copies worldwide. In 2000, Rare released the spiritual successor to Golden Eye 007, Perfect Dark, which was greeted very favorably by critics and gamers.

In late 2000, Rare became a first-party developer for Microsoft’s Xbox and its successors. Rare continued developing games for Nintendo’s handheld consoles. In 2003, Rare and Microsoft made a deal with THQ for Rare to publish games for the Game Boy Advance. The same year, Rare released their first Microsoft game, Grabbed by the Ghoulies, to a mixed reception. In early 2007, Rare founders Chris and Tim Stamper left the company and Rare released Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts the next year to relatively positive reviews. This was their first major game developed without the Stamper brothers. In March 2010, the company opened a new facility in Fazeley Studios, in Digbeth, Birmingham. In 2011, Craig Duncan, who had worked on both Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and the Colin McRae Rally series, was hired as Rare’s Senior Studio Director.

Rare has developed a multitude of games since its founding in 2002. Sales of their games were nearing 90 million units. The company made a name for itself with platform games, and also developed the Kinect Sports series for Microsoft’s Kinectdevice.

About the Author

Sarah Howell is a 3D-modeler. She is 24-years-old. Howell earned a Bachelor’s of Art and Science degree in Entertainment Design and Game Design and Development, and a minor in writing. She is skilled in story creation, management and 3D modeling and texturing. One of her future plans is to someday have a hand in developing and directing an engaging, story-driven video game.




Facepunch Studios

Posted by Sarah Howell

rust-facepunchBy Sarah Howell

Facepunch Studios, (aka FPS, or FP) is an independent video game development company founded in Walsall England. It was officially founded in March 2009 by Garry Newman. The company’s most well known game is Garry’s Mod and has been most recently developing their game Rust. Rust is an online multiplayer survival game, based on similar games such as DayZ and Minecraft.
The original developers, Matthew Schwenk, Bryn Shurman, Garry Newman, and Arthur Lee, originally met while developing the game Facewound, in 2003. The group adopted Facepunch Studios as a company name to look professional and to continue the development of their side scroller. They also established the Facepunch forum. The forums consist of various sections such as sections for news, sections for video games unrelated to games as well as sections for general talk. The forum is now host to over 50,000 active users.
The name ‘Facepunch’ originated from a combination of the game Facewound’s name and comedic affect. Facepunch was deemed too funny to ignore and so the name of the company was decided.
Garry Newman began the development of Garry’s Mod as a side-project in 2004. Eventually, the game’s popularity took over the Facewound forum, as well as Garry’s time. The diversion led to Facewound being postponed and then cancelled. Facepunch Studios disbanded shortly after. Now, Garry’s Mod has become the showcase game of Facepunch Studios. As of November 2013, the game had sold 3.5 million copies and rising. As of September 2014 the game had sold 6 million copies. Garry stated that he would never be able to create a game as popular as Garry’s Mod, and that its popularity was luck; but the release of Rust has proved him wrong. It is one of the top played games on Steam, since it was released around Steam’s beginnings.

About the Author

Sarah Howell is a 3D-modeler. She is 24-years-old. Howell earned a Bachelor’s of Art and Science degree in Entertainment Design and Game Design and Development, and a minor in writing. She is skilled in story creation, management and 3D modeling and texturing. One of her future plans is to someday have a hand in developing and directing an engaging, story-driven video game.



Spacewar! A Blast from the Past!

Posted by Sarah Howell

Spacewar!By Sarah Howell

Spacewar is a two-player game where each player controls a starship against each other. It is one of the earliest computer games created. The game was conceived in 1961 by Steve Russell, Martin Graetz and Wayne Wiitanen. It was originally planned for another reason but interest grew and by 1962 the group created their first version. Additional features were later developed by Dan Edwards Peter Samson as well as Graetz. Russel programmed the game and was nicknamed ‘Slug’ after the slow, methodical way he programmed it. It took the team roughly 200 man-hours to code the first version of Spacewar. It experienced the most popularity in the 1960s and was ported to many other systems. In the 1970s it was ported to new computers and calculators.

Spacewar has often been hailed as a good example of the PDP-1 computer and early displays. It was so efficient DEC apparently used it for factory testing, consequently shipping the computers to customers already installed with Spacewar. This enabled field testing for when the PDP was fully set up and the worker could relax during the testing process. Early microcomputer systems also supported Spacewar. The Cromemco Dazzler kept a loader version as well as the ECD Micromind. As of 2006, only one PDP-1 was known to exist, located at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. It also is fully operational and is available to the public to play. The game is also available as source code on the web.

Many games were inspired by Spacewars and pay homage in their games or use the code. In 2007, The New York Times reported that Spacewar was included in a list of the ten most important video games of all time, also known as the ‘game canon.’


About the Author

Sarah Howell is a 3D-modeler. She is 24-years-old. Howell earned a Bachelor’s of Art and Science degree in Entertainment Design and Game Design and Development, and a minor in writing. She is skilled in story creation, management and 3D modeling and texturing. One of her future plans is to someday have a hand in developing and directing an engaging, story-driven video game.