Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Josh Olin, Community Manager at Call of Duty: Black Ops developers Treyarch, thinks that "pundits" and "angry entitled fans" are ruining creativity in video games. They're not.

In an interview with NowGamer, Olin - who admittedly must wade knee-deep through stupid questions from assholes as part of his job - says the following:

Personally, as a community manager who lives in the media or social media world every day, I think the social culture of video games is moving in a more negative direction as technology and social media continues to grow. Rather than growing with it, the trend seems to be devolving. More and more gamers seem to forget what this industry is all about.

It's a creative industry – the most creative form of entertainment in existence. Too many developers who try new things are getting burned by "pundits" and angry entitled fans who look to be contrarian, sometimes simply for the sake of being contrarian. The only thing this attitude aims to achieve is stunt that creativity and innovation even further, which is something that no rational gamer looking to be entertained would want to do.

He's right about the sentiment that's out there. The kind of people who actively comment as part of a video game community are, sadly, often prone to focus on the negatives, and can often be quite rude when doing so. It's enough to get a man down and make him think the world is out to get him.

But to say that's the reason creativity is being stunted? Come on. Haters Gonna Hate, Josh! If a video game developer designs its games according to the whims of the squeaky wheels, then it deserves to have its creativity stunted, because true innovation takes guts.

The audience doesn't know what it wants before it has it. It never asked for Ico, or Katamari Damacy, or Deus Ex, or BioShock ahead of time. Those games were dropped on them, from creative developers who weren't afraid to roll the dice and take a few risks, and became much-loved classics because of that.

 From Kotaku

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Russian TV Links Modern Warfare 2 To Russian Massacre

In the report, RT points out that the American made video game has earned more than $1 billion in sales worldwide and than you don't have to own the game to see the No Russian mission, you can also watch it on YouTube.

Walid Phares, Director of Future Terrorism Project at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, tells the news channel that terrorists may even use the game for training.

"Indeed it is a trouble to look at the game and reality," he said. "The issue is we need to know if terrorists or extremists are using these videos or DVDs or games to basically apply the model.

"I think those who have been radicalized already – that is supposed in this case jihadists, Al-Qaeda or other kind – they look at the games and say these games will serve them to train,"

Media critic Danny Schechter adds that some video games can influence people.

In the No Russian level, players take on the role of Joseph Allen, who has infiltrated a terrorist group as Alexei Borodin. Borodin and the terrorist group he has infiltrated enter the Zakhaev International Airport and begin to gun down civilians.

Taken From Kotaku

The New York Times,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Warcraft Helped Them Through The Pain Of Divorce

The mainstream stereotype of video games, especially MMORPG's, as antisocial diversions that rip up relationships is well known. That makes Wanda Kirk's recollection, of how playing World of Warcraft with her son helped her through her divorce, heartwarming indeed.

Kirk, a mother nearing 50, writes that she ordinarily would have refused her nine-year-old son's request to spend his allowance on a Warcraft installation disc and subscription. "Until my husband delivered the 10-minute fatwa: he wasn't happy, had never been and wanted (or already had) the younger girlfriend," she writes for Salon. "Without warning, I joined a great and storied company: the Unwanted."

Seeing the video game as means of therapy for her son, Kirk ended up exploring Azeroth with him, learning qualities of his personality that she wouldn't have seen otherwise, and discovering things about people and herself in the process. She ends the piece with 13 tips for playing World of Warcraft; many of them, of course, read like metaphors for getting through life.

In the end, what defeats the antisocial stereotype is the fact the game was played socially, and by that I don't mean unseriously. Kirk played with her son. "He sat with me and hugged me and helped me fire-blast Scarlet Hunters and retrieve crates stolen by Dustwind Harpies," Kirk writes. "Through these wild characters, all the gore and running, with the shrill shriek of Decayed Morlocks in my ears, I felt his love."

Summarized by Kotaku

Full story here

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nintendo 3DS Arrives On March 27 for $249.99 in the U.S.

Nintendo's glasses-free 3D portable gaming system will hit the U.S. on March 27 for $249.99
"Nintendo 3DS is a category of one – the experience simply doesn't exist anywhere else," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "You have to see Nintendo 3DS to believe it. And it's like nothing you've ever seen before."
The system will come with a telescoping stylus and some digital software built in.
Nintendo plans to kick off a massive marketing campaign for the 3D portable, with 5,000 units touring the country for eight weeks.
Nintendo first showed off the 3DS at last year's E3 video gaming expo in Los Angeles. The device, about the size of Nintendo's popular DS gaming system, allows people to watch movies and play games in 3D without the need of glasses. In addition to the directional pad found on the DS, the two-screen 3DS will also have an analog circle button, something more akin to what home console users may be used to. A built-in motion sensor and gyro sensor can react to the motion and tilt of the system, so whether players are twisting their systems side to side or moving them up and down, their motion-compatible Nintendo 3DS games respond instantly. The system will be backwards compatible with the DS and include some built-in DSi software.
The device can also take 3D pictures and then display them on its screen, something becoming more relevant in a time when Sony is pushing 3D video and still cameras.
The device will come in either Aqua Blue or Cosmo Black, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime told a gathering of press this morning in New York.
Seen in person, the handheld's 3D screen almost approaches magic in the way it can trick the eyes into seeing 3D images that either hover in front of the screen or drop away inside the screen.
Games coming to the 3DS includes Pilotwings Resort, Nintendogs + Cats, submariner Steel Diver, Ocarina of Time 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Dead or Alive Dimensions, Madden, Super Street Fighter IV 3D, Asphalt 3D, Combat of Giants Dinosaurs 3D, Lego Star Wars III The Clone Wars, Ridge Racer 3D, Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D.
Nintendo says they hope to have more than 30 games hit the Nintendo 3DS by June.
The 3DS will also have some built-in software including a pedometer that will track your physical movement and log it. Mii Maker will allow gamers to create personal avatars that look a bit like the ones found in the Wii. Face Raiders, another built-in game, is a shooting gallery sort of title that puts your face into the game. The 3DS will also come with software for manipulating sound and browsing the Internet.
The system will also allow gamers to log into Nintendo's e-shop, which will include a "steady progression of Game Boy and Game Boy Color" hits along with new games. The store will also include demos and trailers for new games.
Who else is excited?

George Lucas Believes the World Will End in 2012

Funnyman Seth Rogen was left stunned by a recent encounter with his moviemaking hero George Lucas - because the Star Wars director spent 20 minutes telling him the world would end in 2012.

Rogen was left speechless when Lucas and Steven Spielberg joined a movie meeting he was a part of - but the encounter has left him worried his life will be over next year.

He recalls, “George Lucas sits down and seriously proceeds to talk for around 25 minutes about how he thinks the world is gonna end in the year 2012, like, for real. He thinks it.

“He’s going on about the tectonic plates and all the time Spielberg is, like, rolling his eyes, like, ’My nerdy friend won’t shut up, I’m sorry...’

“I first thought he (Lucas) was joking... and then I totally realized he was serious and then I started thinking, ’If you’re George Lucas and you actually think the world is gonna end in a year, there’s no way you haven’t built a spaceship for yourself... So I asked him... ’Can I have a seat on it?’

“He claimed he didn’t have a spaceship, but there’s no doubt there’s a Millennium Falcon in a garage somewhere with a pilot just waiting to go... It’s gonna be him and Steven Spielberg and I’ll be blown up like the rest of us.”

From Toronto Sun

Monday, January 17, 2011

Screw Up

It turns out I couldn't write that MLK piece i planned to. I gotta make it up somehow...
Give me ideas for a future posts (within reason) and I'll try to incorporate some.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

NFL Playoffs

I was just watching the Jets vs Patriots game, when I realized that none of my Superbowl picks were even close to the finals. The Cowboys (XD) and the Saints.

The Dallas Cowboys dropped this season for no good reason! It left me frustrated, not only at the team, but at its fans too! No one I know likes the cowboys for no reason. And I mean beyond this season's disaster. Most, in fact bandwagon on whatever team looks good. After the Saints won last year, there was a lot more Saints gear in front of my face in one day, then there has been in 10 years. 

On the flip side, I almost feel guilty if the Jets win the Superbowl. I started liking the Jets after the one year stint with Favre, and took the organization as my 2nd favorite team after the Jets landed LT from the Chargers.