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27 Nov 2013 | Leave a Comment

Society and Video Games

Society and Video Games

Over the past few decades, gaming has developed from an industry primarily targeting elementary, high school, and college age gamers to one earning substantial revenue from people of all ages. According to a recent study by Ratesupermarket.ca, the average Canadian gamer is 31 years old.

With games available via gaming consoles, websites, and a wide variety of electronic devices, gaming is more convenient and easy to access than ever. While hard-core gamers are sure to have advanced consoles and tools, there are many people who had never considered themselves a gamer now gaming on a daily basis via their smartphones and mobile electronic devices. Below is a closer look at how the gaming industry has attracted a significantly larger audience over the last several years.

Games For Memory And Learning

With an increasing focus on combining electronics with education, more games are being designed for children as young as three or four years old. On the other end of the spectrum, older adults looking for ways to maintain their memory as a proactive and preventative measure (particularly from dementia and Alzheimer’s) are also using memory games. Both of these factors have increased the popularity of games for people both young and old.

Interactive Gaming

While arcade games have been physically interactive for years, interactive games can now be played in the comfort of your own home. With the introduction of home gaming devices such as the Nintendo Wii or games like Guitar Hero, gaming can be designed for interactive activities too. To further increase interaction, many of these games can be played independently or with friends.

Mobile Gaming

Handheld gaming devices have gone from game-only consoles, to cell phones, notepads, and laptops that allow you to play a game while you’re on the go. Many mobile gaming devices even have joysticks and other gaming tools that can be attached to improve your gaming experience. The first mobile gaming devices were large and clunky; now they are slim enough to fit into a pocket or handbag.

With smartphones offering users the chance to game by uploading free and inexpensive apps, individuals who have never gamed much now play regularly. This can range from anything like the tried and true Tetris to pop culture games, such as Candy Crush, Farmville, and Angry Birds. Regardless of the preferred mobile gaming device, mobile gaming allows individuals to leisurely pass time while commuting, waiting in line at a grocery store or restaurant, or any time they have a few minutes to spare.

3D Vision Gaming

A fairly new and popular gaming genre is 3-D vision gaming. This category includes games that allow players to wear glasses or goggles designed to make gamers feel as if they are inside the game they are playing. Some goggles even offer a full 360° visual capacity. This genre of gaming still has plenty of room to grow, but many feel it is the future of gaming.

As the gaming industry continues to evolve, becoming more interactive, more mobile, and more lifelike, more gamers of various ages and interests are expected to start playing.

 

 

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4 Apr 2013 | Leave a Comment

LucasArts closed by Disney

LucasArts closed by Disney

It’s (almost) always a little sad to hear that a games company has shutdown. But this is a especially sad for people like me that grew up on LucasArts games.

LucasArts were a huge part of my gaming history. From those late 80′s Amiga gaming days of Maniac Mansion and Zak McKracken, through Indiana Jones and LOOM, to 1990 uber-classic Secret of Monkey Island and it’s sequels. Then onto the PC, with Grim Fandango, and the brilliant X-Wing series.

The love of LucasArts games continued through my college years, with the degree distracting Full Throttle, Sam & Max, and Jedi Knight series. Post college, 2003 saw them collaborate with Bioware to bring the astounding Knights of the Old Republic, and of course, my first MMORPG – Star Wars Galaxies (developed with SOE).

In 2004, LucasArts underwent a restructuring, and things have been rather up and down since then, starting with interfering in Galaxies, then the fiasco with forcing Obsidian to rush KotOR II out half finished. The Battlefront series was fun, but hardly original. The Force Unleashed did sell extraordinarily well despite a critical panning, however, various attempts at expanding beyond existing (mainly Star Wars) IPs, fell flat. Even the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO couldn’t save a studio which had become rather directionless in recent years…

Jedi Academy

Jedi Academy

LucasArt’s isn’t completely dead however. Although it won’t be developing internally, will still be a licensor of the LucasArt’s IPs. Actually, if you look back at the games that i’ve mentioned so far, we may not notice all that much of a change… KotOR/TOR were developed by Bioware. X-Wing by Totally Games. Galaxies by Verant Interactive/SOE. Battlefront was developed by Pandemic. Traveller’s Tales were behind the later Monkey Island/Sam & Max games and Lego Star Wars. Raven Software developed the Jedi Knight games. You actually look at the games developed solely by LucasArt’s internally for the last 10 years, and, well… Lucidity (a 2D platformer for XBox) in 2009 and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (good but not great) in 2008, and Gladius in 2003. All other games have been produced under license by other developers.

Unfortunately, the one game casualty of the closure was the upcoming ‘Star Wars 1313′, a very interesting looking FPS, where you played a bounty hunter in Coruscant’s subterranean level 1313 underworld… There is still hope someone may pick it up and continue development under license.

As a tribute to LucasArts, Raven Software have released the source code to Jedi Knight 2 and Jedi Academy, saying “We loved and appreciated the experience of getting to make Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy for LucasArts. As a gift to the persistently loyal fanbase for our Jedi games and in memory of LucasArts, we are releasing the source code for both games for people to enjoy and play with.” So expect to see a rush of amateur developers and modders out there go nuts with it.

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8 Feb 2013 | Leave a Comment

In Crysis 3, it’s 2047, and Prophet has returned to New York, albeit an NYC now encased in a nanodome which has turned the famed urban metropolis into a rainforest of giant overgrown trees, swamps and rivers.

Set 24 years after Crysis 2, it’s given Prophet plenty of time to plot this ‘revenge mission’, and also pick up some new alien toys to play with.

Crysis 3 is due to be released for PC, PS3 and XBox360 in the UK – 22nd February 2013

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21 Sep 2012 | 6 Comments

Play Expo 2012

Play Expo 2012

There’s a new UK gaming expo in town, and it’s called Play Expo 2012! And for once, it’s not in London, but at the brand new EventCity venue in Manchester on 13-14th October 2012. Tickets are on sale now at http://www.playexpo.net/, however, we’ve got 2 tickets to give away to 1 lucky winner!

Along with being one of the first people in the UK to see the new Nintendo Wii U, you older gamers out there will be able to reminisce in a vast array of classic consoles, computers, arcade and even pinball machines!

About Play Expo 2012

Play Expo is the only UK video games expo catering for all gamers and all forms of games. The show will consist of four core gaming zones:

  • now.play – latest releases and previews for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC and handheld. Confirmed exhibitors include EA, Nintendo, Konami and Namco Bandai. Nintendo will be giving visitors a preview of the new Wii U console, while EA will showcase the new Need For Speed and Medal of Honor games.
  • re.play – freeplay arcade and pinball machines, retro consoles and vintage computers – over 400 classic systems covering the entire history of gaming will be available for visitors to enjoy.
  • pro.play – a competitive eSports event featuring pro gaming tournaments on popular titles like FIFA, Call of Duty and many more.
  • cos.play – A celebration of Japanese culture, including costume role play masquerades, talks, anime and manga.

There will be a variety of talks by personalities from the games industry throughout the weekend along with tournaments, demonstrations and giveaways.

Play Expo spokesperson, Gordon Sinclair said: “There is great demand from gamers for a show outside of London and from our experience, we know there is appetite for Replay’s unique approach. In fact, we surveyed previous attendees to our shows and found that 96% said they wanted this type of event and that they would be very likely to attend. With that kind of support, we are confident that this huge step forward will be a successful one for both us and our exhibitors.”

Play Expo will be able to comfortably accommodate 10,000 consumers over the two days. In addition, Play Expo is in partnership with eSports provider EGL, which will stream the expo to up to 500,000 worldwide viewers.

Play Expo 2012

Win 2 Tickets to Play Expo 2012

How to win 2 Tickets to Play Expo 2012!

COMPETITION CLOSED

I’ve decided to make this really easy, so there are 2 ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post, telling us why you should win.

2. Retweet the following:

Retweet to win 2 Tickets to Play Expo 2012 in Manchester @Geektown http://wp.me/p10pHL-1XD

That’s it! And you can do both, and double your chances of winning!

The competition closes on 4th October 2012 and is open to UK residents aged 18 or over. There will be 1 winner picked from entries on geektown.co.uk and Twitter. By entering you are agreeing to the rules of this competition. Full rules can be read here.

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19 Sep 2012 | One Comment

Nintendo Wii U

Nintendo Wii U

For all you gamers out there that are eagerly awaiting the launch of the new the Wii U, the folk Nintendo are spending the next few months travelling the UK to show off their shiny new wares before it’s european launch on the 30th November 2012. Nintendo’s Wii U is their first HD console, and comes with the new Wii U GamePad controller, which offers an integrated second screen, and can also be used independently of the TV set with certain software (making it the sort of love-child of a Wii Remote and a DS…) The new console will launch in 2 flavours:

The Wii U Basic Pack (retailing at around £250) features a Wii U console with 8GB internal storage and a Wii U GamePad, both in white.

The Wii U Premium Pack (retailing at around £300) contains a black Wii U console and Wii U GamePad, 32GB of internal storage, a stand for the GamePad and console, a charging cradle for the GamePad, a sensor bar and the Nintendo Land software. The Wii U Premium Pack also features a reward programme called Nintendo Network Premium that grants points for digital purchases in Nintendo eShop. Valued at around 10% of the original Nintendo eShop price, this credit can be used against future purchases once you reach a minimum of 500 points.

Wii U Premium Pack

Wii U Premium Pack

Both packs also feature an HDMI cable and AC adapters for console and GamePad.

At launch Nintendo will have, what they are calling the ‘strongest line-up of launch software in Nintendo history’. These include third-party heavy hitters such as FIFA 13 from Electronic Arts and Activision’s Call Of Duty: Black Ops II, Ubisoft’s ZombiU, Mass Effect 3 – Special Edition, and RAYMAN LEGENDS as well as in-house titles like Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U.

Nintendo will be touring the country with its shiny new box of tricks ahead of the console’s official launch on the 30th November. Kicking off in London on the 27th September, the Wii U showcase tour will visit a range of shopping centres, gaming expos and events across the UK. This will give UK gamers the chance to get hands-on with some of the pre-release Wii U titles and experience the  Wii U first-hand. Nintendo favourites Mario and Luigi will be on hand to welcome Nintendo fans on the day, plus there will be a whole host of Wii U challenges to complete and prizes to be won. There’ll also be a chance to sample upcoming Nintendo 3DS XL titles before they launch, including the latest Pokémon and Mario adventures. The new Nintendo 3DS XL features a 90% bigger screen.

The tour will visit the following events and venues:

  • Eurogamer Expo, London: 27th – 30th September
  • Braehead shopping centre, Glasgow: 11th – 14th October
  • Play Expo, Manchester: 13th – 14th
  • Westfield, Derby: 18th – 21st October
  • MCM Expo, London: 26th – 28th October
  • Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester: 1st – 4th November
  • The Bullring, Birmingham: 8th – 11th November
  • Westfield Stratford City, London: 15th – 18th November
  • Metro Centre, Newcastle: 22nd – 25th November
  • Gadget Show Christmas, London: 30th November – 2nd December
  • Westfield, London: 6th – 9th December
  • Centre: MK, Milton Keynes: 13th – 16th December
  • Arndale centre, Manchester: 3rd – 6th January

For more information about the tour and for regular updates on the events and locations, visit www.nintendo.co.uk/events.

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1 Jun 2009 | Leave a Comment

Telltale Games have teamed up with LucasArts to bring some new stories from the legendary Monkey Island! Telltale will be bringing Guybrush Threepwood, evil pirate LeChuck, and many other characters from the classic point and click adventure back to the PC in the same episodic format that worked so well for them with the Sam & Max games.

I doubt they’ll ever compete with the genius writing of Gilbert, Schafer and Grossman in the original Monkey Island series, but i’m glad LucasArts have at least chosen to partner with pretty much the only people out there that are still waving the flag of the point and click genre.

More info at telltalegames.com