The first thing I ever truly wanted from the bottom of my heart was a Super Nintendo Entertainment System. As a kid, this was the holy grail of a good time. By middle school, all of my friends were having sleeopover birthday parties for the sole purpose of playing four-player GoldenEye 64 all night long.
In the next few years, I got caught up in the computer gaming scene and whole competitive gaming hype riding on games like Counter-Strike and Starcraft as many began prematurely announcing the arrival of true ‘e-sports.’
Things of course fizzled out over time.
The constant evolution of the medium means that it’s almost impossible to play catchup and maintain a consistent environment for competition. But it’s also this constant change that makes video gaming beautiful.
ZERO: But is it Art?
We know Roger Ebert doesn’t think so but what does he know about video games anyway? Well, here’s the opinion of veteran game designer and GDC 2011 presenter.
“Video game products contain plenty of art, but it’s product art, which is to say, kitsch art,” explains Moriarty about midway through his lecture. His speech up until this point has trudged through the obligatory semantics of the question “What is capital-A Art, anyway?” The answer, he claims, is tougher than the average consumer can handle. We require experts to tell us when something can be considered Art. “Certain people make it their business to exercise taste. These people are called (pinkies up) connoisseurs. Such an expert is Roger Ebert.”
Moreover, Moriarty argues that the act of video gaming inherently undermines the act of truly experiencing art. Sam Osborn sums it up nicely.
Playing video games, which is “an activity motivated by decisions, striving, goals and competition, a deliberate concentration of the force of will” is a direct contradiction to this idea of transcendence through contemplation. They are inherently designed to never achieve a level of artistic merit above kitsch.
All of which I agree with to a certain point. No one is trying to call Call of Duty: Black Ops art just as most moviegoers take Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen for what it is. In movies, there’s an overarching understanding that Hollywood doesn’t necessarily represent the medium of film as a whole.
The same could be said about video gaming and it only really takes one truly innovative release to change everyone’s mind all over again.
ONE: Indie Gaming Gets Real
Minecraft is the obvious rockstar in this realm in recent times and the way forward gets only more exciting. Many people forget that one of the most successful games of all time, Countr-Strike, began as a free user created mod for the original Half-Life.
This week, indie dev team Adhesive Games, released gameplay video of their FPS, Hawken, which looks sick. My question is: how has no one made a great mech game yet?
ONE: Video Game Robotics
The fast selling piece of video game hardware ever is the Kinect and for good reason. The technology is so revolutionary and robust that Microsoft has officially given hackers the green light to go to town, iin the hopes that people come up with really cool shit. Like this UAV designed by students at MIT.
ZERO: Cyber War Games
What if life was a video game and reality was your cosmic console? Michael Byrne explains.
Cyberwar, in contrast, represents possibly a blow-off valve, an outlet for tension between nations. It’s a virtual battlefield where many of the same things that classic war exists for can be accomplished, from standard-issue outbursts of nationalism/cocking off to small-scale, economically-motivated strategic plays. Maybe with a virtual battlefield in place, we can imagine a time where we just don’t need classic war, that the only strategic thing it can’t accomplish is killing civilians. (Though we can speculate about whether or not that’s a capability yet to be attained and, if it is, whether or not is ceases to be cyberwar. Probably.)
Wars in the future, it seems, is just like a video game – a bunch of guys sitting in front of screens seeing who can get the highest score. In the case of the U.S.-China cyberwar, the time limit has been set to ‘unlimited’ and we’re playing until someone wins, if anyone ever does. Stuxnet was just the beginning.
Tired of Angry Birds? Our Joshua Kopstein can’t get enough of the new iPad game Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP.
But woe be the App Store henchman who is tasked with writing a product description forSuperbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP in one, three or even five short statements. At its simplest, I suppose calling it “a four-part surrealist videogame poem that takes place inside the dusty dreams of an old vinyl record” might give players a vague idea of the strange world of audiovisual splendor that awaits them. But overall, it would hardly do justice to this entrancing and highly anticipated collaborative work from developer Capybara Games, pixel artist Craig “Superbrothers” Adams and Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Guthrie. To wit, this tiny trifecta has managed to fit more soul and sophistication into a $5 iPad game than any over-budgeted, overwrought $60 RPG clone I’ve played in recent memory.
ZERO: Facebook – the Game
The new trend in gaming these days isn’t ultra-realistic graphics or innovative motion capture techniques but rather a twisted form of Second Life with no purchase necessary – trying to seem cool on the Internet.
The tools at your disposal are simple: traditional social media tools like Facebook and Twitter help you build your avatar and public persona. Measuring achievement isn’t as straightforward but counting the number of friends or followers you have is a good place to start.
The more ambitious though, will certainly employ new wave techniques though such as the Cloud Girlfriend upgrade.
A great video with even better music.
ONE: Gmail – Dance Dance Revolution Edition
If Gmail and Kinect ever got in bed together, Gmail Motion would be their beautiful baby.
Studies over the past 24 years have indicated that more than 80% of our total communication is body language. When you can incorporate a shake of the head or a gesture of some kind, you’re making that communication far more effective.
The mouse and keyboard were invented before the Internet even existed. Since then, countless technological advancements have allowed for much more efficient human computer interaction. Why then do we continue to use outdated technology? Introducing Gmail Motion — now you can control Gmail with your body.