"The city of Camden, New Jersey had the highest crime rate in the US in 2012. A 24/7 surveillance program is now in effect," teases Ubisoft, the enormous French game publisher, announcing a new expansion of its popular Watch Dogs sneak-hack-and-kill game. The original, which was pitched as one of the most ambitious games of all time, was set in and around a fictionalized Chicago populated by an automatically generated cast of lightly stereotyped city-dwellers. Earlier this year, a player found himself under attack by a hoodied young virtual character named "Kavon Fortin," which company representatives claimed was an unfortunate coincidence. Within a few months another Ubisoft game, [...]
"Teenaged boys who play violent video games three or more hours a day may be desensitized to the physiological and emotional effects of the games, a new study suggests."
1. Computer Space
When I was in second grade, my teacher sent a note home to my mother. I had recently been skipped ahead from first grade to second grade and the new teacher was worried about me. I was keeping up with the class fine, I was having no problem with that, she said in the note, but she was worried about me because all I would ever write or talk or draw about in class or in my journal or for homework were video games. They seemed to be the only thing that I thought about. She wondered whether maybe there might be something wrong with [...]
In case you missed it, here's the story of the Tukwila, WA real estate developer who provided the inspiration for Nintendo's Mario character. It includes a high school year book photo.
To the frontiers of technology: "You might not be surprised to hear that the demographics of video-game characters don't quite match up with those of real populations. But the first 'virtual census' of the human characters that inhabit US video games exposes just how much they diverge from reality. The survey reveals that males, adults and white people are over-represented in games. Females, black people, children and the elderly are correspondingly under-represented." What the fuck is up with that? I want to be able to blow away a bunch of mutant toddlers, damn it.
It really feels like the end of the world. In science magazines there are articles about colonizing space and other planets but we won't ever do that. We're stuck on the hot rock full of water waiting for the inevitable asteroid. All you have to do is look at the moon-that fucking thing is covered in cosmic ACNE and those craters are made by things flying at 13 miles a second. Somebody get Bruce Willis on the phone. He can handle anything.
Possibly I feel this way because I am getting kind of old. I am slightly narcissistic/self-obsessed so the whole fucking universe needs to be in trouble [...]
Last year, a videogame creator named Tim Schafer, who was best known for a handful of games back in the 90s, got about a bazillion dollars on Kickstarter to make another one of those games. And now the game is here! I've been playing it and it is GREAT. Oh man.
So the game is called Broken Age. It is a point-and-click adventure, a very old and now-basically-extinct genre which is more like an interactive comic book than anything else. You click on a spot to make your character go there, you click on another character to talk with them, you click on objects to interact [...]
38. Game rating, theme, plot eliminates need to urinate, file taxes, experience bodily shame.
37. Lifelong contempt of evolutionary theory culminating in ill-thought out plan to stop rampaging monkey, without consulting police, humane society, press, etc.
36. Failure to understand nuances of newly installed alien government.
35. No school will hire substitute teacher named Solid Snake.
34. Prefer being shot at, stomped upon, devoured by monsters, spine mutilation, to honest conversation with friends, family, spouse.
33. Non-raiding, -assassin, -bloodsport job felt too "corporate."
If you're like me, sometimes you're on a subway or plane ride thinking to yourself, "Oh man, I wish I could play a portable video game that has 3D effects not unlike the experience I had in the theater when I watched Avatar!" or, "Oh man, I could really go for a turkey sandwich from Torrisi right now!" Well, good news: the Nintendo 3DS now resolves at least one of those desires.
Astronomers at NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii have discovered water, in the form of ice, and organic compounds on the surface of an asteroid called 24 Themis, which circles the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This supports the theory that an asteroid collision seeded the earth with the elements that developed into basic forms of life. "They have found something that a lot of people, including myself, have been chasing in the solar system for a long time, and that is water and organic material," says Dale Cruikshank, a planetary scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. And [...]
You and I, we aren't from here. I know I am not anyway and if this whole universe including me turns out to be a harsh game, well, consider my imagined heart crushed and my fictional breath taken totally away. What a beautifully cruel thing of unimaginable definition and color this place is. What incredible aberrations; what perfect anomalies. I sure as hell don't know what the fuck I am doing here and I am quite certain that you don't either. In fact, I can't recall the nothing I was before. I wonder what the nothing will feel like later. That's how I can do whatever it is that I [...]
"The new dark-romantic adventure is the latest in an interesting trend, following similar games celebrating the music of Skrillex and Kreayshawn, among others."
Back in the early 80s, the boom in arcades and entertainment made icons of the likes of Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Q*Bert. The popularity and novelty of video games was great enough to produce a fair amount of peculiar cultural runoff. If you grew up then, you may or may not remember watching cartoon series based on the likes of Kangaroo and Space Ace, or raunchy arcade-set comedies like Hollywood Zap and Joysticks ("More Fun Than Games!"). Some dubious efforts to translate the excitement of playing video games into different mediums also happened, as seen with the ill-conceived board game above.
There was even a game show [...]
Things are finally looking up for Saigon. A few years ago, the hard-knock NYC rapper looked like he was about to become a big star. After a string of very strong mixtapes, he signed with Atlantic Records through producer Just Blaze's Fort Knocks Entertainment, and, in 2005, landed a recurring role on HBO's "Entourage," while readying his first album, The Greatest Story Never Told.
Self-professed recovering video-game addict the RZA (a.k.a. Prince Rakeem, The Abbot, Bobby Digital, Bobby Steels, the RZArector, Ruler Zig-zag-zig Allah, etc.) tells his sons, "If it was up to me… You wanna make me happy? Four hours of video games a day is enough."
I remember the light of the sun shining straight lines of rays through the hollowed-out space above the street-and the dark shadow in the bulky concrete shafts of bleh that rose to the side. I also remember pain. Total pain in my fucking heart and mind. Total static…. It was the end. Manhattan was meant to go cheesecloth and me butter-like the oil of eternity through the laugh track of a commercial in outer space where a mop dances with Fred Astaire and he accidentally drops a sardine off his cracker and says, "Oh dear, summer plums, I have spilled my hors d'oeuvres." Then a bunch of spiders crawl from [...]