It’s both interesting and informative to watch as the mainstream media picks up on the PlayStation Network breach story. This is also an opportunity for the gaming press to fire another round in the ongoing battle to impress upon the mainstream media that video games are actually relevant enough to warrant regular coverage the way film and music receive it in entertainment sections of newspapers and magazines.
There’s an open question here worth tracking: what, precisely, made the mainstream media pick up on this topic so quickly? The PSN breach is now national news. Hell, I saw the story run on the morning newscast on NECN, my local, cable news channel. Are they carrying it purely because it’s a major data breach, or because credit card information was part of that breach?
The differences between first person shooter audiences who only choose to play single player campaigns, and FPS audiences who eschew story altogether and only delve into competitive multiplayer modes, feel very distinct to me. One side prefers narrative and a self-paced experience, while the other prefers virtual sport and the breakneck pace that goes along with it.
With that in mind, when I saw the Brink developer diary entitled "The End of Genre as We Know It," which talks about bridging the gap between these two kinds of FPS experiences, I was extremely dubious about the idea conceptually, much less how the London-based development studio Splash Damage would pull it off.
My feelings about a divide between the two audiences are predicated more on anecdotal evidence than any concrete studies of player behavior, and so I reached out to some first person shooter developers to get their thoughts as to how they conceived of a divide, if any, between single-player focused FPS gamers and multiplayer-centric FPS gamers.
Read the rest of this feature on Gamasutra!
Before being asked to do this “Top 10 Easter Eggs” post, I hadn’t really paid much attention to easter eggs. I certainly knew what they were - you don’t play video games for 30 years without discovering plenty of hidden objects, sounds, events, or minigames along the way - but I hadn’t really paid attention to the phenomena as a whole.
Imagine, then, the cavalcade of potential entrants I was avalanched with when I hit the books to write up my version of this list. Unless I wanted to ape one of the many lists already out there, or give yet more publicity to the venerable Adventure dev credit or shooting John Romero’s head, I had to think of another way to go about this.
The thing about easter eggs is that sometimes they take a ridiculous amount of effort to discover or pull off…and plenty of us don’t have time for that. Many easter eggs also come from games that have long since passed into the Video Game Hall of Antiquity.Part of the fun of the easter egg is going to see them yourself once someone else points out their existence to you.
Here, then, is my list of the Top Ten Contemporary Easter Eggs for the Lazy Gamer.
Read the rest of this feature on G4TV's The Feed!
The narrative surrounding Nintendo over the last half-decade has been one of innovation, as the company’s Blue Ocean strategy has led to pioneering new technologies. The concept of the "blue ocean" comes from a book by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, which argues that rather than fighting over the same piece of the marketplace (creating a "red ocean" of blood), companies should strike out into the "blue ocean" where no other companies set sail, and create new, uncontested markets for themselves.
Nintendo has tapped into this strategy with amazing success. PlayStation Move and the Xbox 360 Kinect are nothing if not Sony and Microsoft's attempts to spill some blood into the waters of motion-control gaming. It’s been exciting to see Nintendo, one of the founders of modern video game culture, raising the bar and not resting on its laurels, but sometimes it’s beneficial to recognize trends and fall into line. Video games, and devices which play host to video games, are moving steadily further into the realm of online connectivity, and Nintendo is not keeping up.
So much of what games journalism does really is just marketing, but mostly on account of the lack of "real" news to convey and/or a lack of sources. PR and Marketing hold all the cards, and they deal them out as befits the promotion of a new piece of hardware or software. I don't begrudge games journalists for the lack of "hard" stories because I don't normally see anything in the news that warrants much digging...but then something like this comes around.
Nintendo says that the 3DS isn't selling out because they accounted for shortages. I'd like to see a games journalist with insider connections at Nintendo dig on this one, just because it sounds like an interesting story. But I don't have any faith that we'll actually see such a story, which is a shame. Here's an example of some investigative journalism someone could do - and yes, had I the connections, I'd love to pursue it myself. But I have one contact an Nintendo, and they're going to send me straight to a PR person who will give me a PR answer. Which is to say, not much of one at all.
I don't blame the PR people for that, either. They're just doing their jobs.