Joystiq’s Jason Lomberg wrote a nice editorial piece concerning video gaming’s shallowness, entitled, I’m Tired of Saving the World. In the piece he goes on about how in creating only the most surface of stories, and always avoiding the more interpersonal type of stories that directly connect with the human condition, gaming as a whole has sold itself short as a medium. In the piece he gives several examples of where gaming has gone wrong, and several more examples of some promising work done in recent years, that while their merits may be debatable depending on who you are, tend to attempt to push games into becoming a more versatile medium; and hopefully, into the true potential inherently in the medium.
Anyone who has known me for more than a few years, across almost any forum I have frequented, knows this issue, and it really is an issue with the medium, is one of those I have written about passionately over the past decade. It used to seem that I was alone in my feelings toward how far the true potential of the medium could stretch, but lately it seems that slowly, more, and more people (at least in the gaming press), are beginning to wake up to this potential. If you have not already read Jason Lomberg’s editorial (linked above), then do so, it is a really good read. And pretty much every thing that follows in the rest of this post, serves kind of as an addendum to what he wrote. I have a future post planned to expound far more into the subject matter than this post is today. I’ve been writing about this for ten years, so you can bet I have more than a few observations, and things to share on the issue. (more…)
For those not in the know, late last night (or early this morning if you are in Europe), cloud gaming company OnLive, released their Android and iOS apps, that will allow anyone with an Android tablet, Android smartphone, an iPhone, or an iPad, to play full PC games anywhere on the go, where they can connect with a 3G, 4G, or WiFi wireless connection. Along with the apps, OnLive debuted the OnLive Universal Controller, which will wirelessly connect to any of the above mentioned devices, plus an entire cornucopia of future HDTVs, blu-ray players and settop boxes that will come with OnLive already embedded in the device. Over 30, out of the near 200 games currently on the OnLive service, do not require a controller to play while using them over your mobile device. Working with publishers, these games either come with button overlays for your touchscreen, or in the case of titles like From Dust (arriving on the service soon), and Rockstar Games’ runaway hit, L.A. Noire, the developers worked extremely closely with OnLive to create game specific touchscreen controls. Which if reports are to be believed, not only represent the future of bringing PC games to mobile ecosystems, but are truly extraordinary, and have to be demoed by everyone to be believed.
Over at Joystiq where I regularly hang out, the topic kind of sprung up among some of the posters there (namely myself, ZoomyRamen, Scuffles, eat it, nerdydesi1, Kentbrockman, and a few others) about how OnLive, and more specifically what they were doing, could serve to benefit PC gaming as a whole. I was in the process of contributing my insights on the issue, upon realizing those insights were getting a bit verbose for Joystiq’s forums, and out of courtesy to the community there, have hosted my comment from my own blog. (more…)
FINALLY got around to playing the Rayman Origins demo. This game reminds me of every last reason that I fell in love with video games in the first place. Rayman Origins is a love letter to any video gamer who can remember how awesome, uninhibited, and carefee gaming was before the Playstation era. It shines a spotlight on how gaming in general took a very, very wrong turn. And serves as a reminder that sometimes what we collectively fool ourselves into thinking is progress, really is not. (more…)
Well it’s be rumored for months now – ever since a couple of screen shots were leaked back in June. But this morning Game Informer made it official by unveiling their December 2011 cover. Rainbow Six is back, and from the looks of things, better than ever. Once again, Ubisoft Montreal is at the helm for the next outing of Team Rainbow. But as has been rumored in months past, some major changes are in store for fans of the venerable tactical-shooter series. Ubisoft Montreal seeks to create a shooter with a heart. And with that comes a lot of responsibility to get certain things that games usually do not concern themselves with, right. But also arises the opportunity to take gaming somewhere they rarely ever go, and most specifically shooters, somewhere they have never been before. Inside the human condition. (more…)
Jason Roberts over at Lens of Truth, wrote a great op-ed about the trend of game publishers forcing gamers to have to buy into online passes. I would highly recommend taking out the time to read the original piece, titled, The Online Pass Strikes Again, before continuing beyond this point.
I’ve been seeing this piece linked around quite a bit over the past 24 hours: saw several links for it shared on my Twitter feed, a couple shares for it on my Facebook wall, seen it show up at Reddit, among other places. The piece really seems to be striking a raw nerve with gamers everywhere. And it should, as quite frankly, the piece is spot on, and paints a pretty grim picture for the future of the hobby. Especially as costs associated with game development (currently between $30 million to $50 million for the average multi-platform game) are due to double, and potentially triple with the release of next-gen hardware right around the corner. (more…)