This week we talk about Assassin’s Creed, and tackle an interesting topic about how other people react to our hobby.
There’s a song, I don’t remember it and I’m in a hurry.
This week we talk about Assassin’s Creed, and tackle an interesting topic about how other people react to our hobby.
There’s a song, I don’t remember it and I’m in a hurry.
I am using this post to announce that I’m going to be taking a break from hardcore gaming for a while. Not gamevain.com, but just hardcore gaming. While games are certainly a huge part of my life, and will continue to remain so, I think there comes a time when you need to step back and look at the big picture of what you want to accomplish in life. For me, I dream big. I want to develop a game, and it’s nearly impossible to develop a game when you can’t stop playing the fucking things. It’s also impossible to spend any amount of timing writing for a proper gaming blog if I can’t pull myself away from 11 hour marathon sessions of FTL. Where the fuck I even found 11 hours is beyond me, but I’m on a massive sleep deficit, I work 40+ hours a week, and I have too much else I want to do with my life at the moment.
That said, my desire to take a gaming break for a bit also comes from a desire to enjoy playing games again. If you saw my games of the generation article (please read, I measure my self worth by your page views), you will probably notice that my tastes are a little odd. This is because I have spent too much time playing games to the point where really good, highly polished, AAA experiences have become less fun for me. Nowadays I tend to be only entertained if a game is doing something new and interesting, regardless of the actual polish level of the product. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when I can sit on a game like Bioshock Infinite and have no freakin’ desire to even load it up because I’m jacking off my beam saber in No More Heroes 2, something is going wrong.
Of course, maybe this is just a permeant change in my tastes of games. Who really knows. What I do know is that I have books to read, languages to learn, and scripts to write, and I can’t do any of that when I have four consoles on hand at any given time.
When you take history into account, you’ll see remarkable things that seem to pop out of nowhere or that things happen all of a sudden that will shape how the future generation lives. Those things happen in the video game industry too. Games like Pacman, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, and etc. were so big, they were like shouting at the whole world with a blow horn. They made this huge impact to kids everywhere, even making them decide how they see themselves in the future. Well, it’s the 21st century, and boy how things have changed. Sure enough there isn’t just one game that really stood out. For the console generation, there are hundreds and maybe even thousands that could fall under the category of forever imprinting itself in our psyche. With everyone having their own games that changed their lives, I’ll show you 5 games that made a difference to me.
How many of you remember your very first encounter with a video game? Some would have answered spending their childhood in arcade shops and busting out your quarters. Well, I remember mine too. It was Crash Bandicoot. If you have no idea what this game is all about, then you’re probably too young to even know what system it was played on. I was first exposed to this game back in the late ’90s. Yeah, this was my whole world during the weekends. How about I take you back in time and show you how awesome this game was for me.
Seeing as we’ve covered multiple viewpoints in relation to the recent mass homicides, I would like to interject some my own personal beliefs. The hot topics in the media are that of video games causing violence and the peculiarity that controlling the type of firearm and the amount of ammunition will save lives. First and foremost, our public opinion is most definately being controlled by the media. The very fact that I am writing this article is proof of that.
There are multiple different outcomes, solutions and theories pertaining to the shootings; however, the media does not release data stating, “this is how some people interpret it and this is how others interpret it”. The correct answer is that we don’t know what is correct: there are multiple possiblities and we must withhold judgement. But that’s not how people think; instead people have an intolerance to ambiguity. We need to look at all possibilities and not discredit a theory until we can definitely prove it otherwise, and the fact that it’s a debate shows there is evidence supporting all sides.
When it comes to video games there are basically two sides. On one hand society wants to pin this on video games, whereas gamers are so adamant in defending their hobby and making claims that can be considered outrageous. Both sides do have one thing in common: they cannot predict violent behavior on the scale of mass shootings. In other words, neither side really knows what causes violent behavior. We cannot rule out that which we do no know.
What I’m asking is this: for everyone to step back and remove our own bias towards video games. What method of scrutiny have we placed out statements under? Why are we not humble and skeptical of our own claims, only those made against us?
We need to scientifically test our theories and see what holds true. And then test it again under different conditions until we come across a truth that holds and becomes predictable. I hope we can all come to terms with whichever truth emerges.
“The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true.” – Carl Sagan, a man who influenced my thinking from the age of two.
Last year saw the releases of games such as The Walking Dead: The Game(later would be announced as 2012′s game of the year), Max Payne 3, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, Assassin’s Creed 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. These are only the tip of the iceberg on what seems like a vast amount of game releases. Clearly game developers would want to up the ante on the games they plan on releasing the next year. Fans are clammoring over the titles I’m about to show you, provided you too are excited about these. One was, for some reason, been delayed its timely realease and is postponed to the end of 2013. Anyway, with the break GameVain had, let’s start off this year with some previews that’ll really make your mouth water.
My body count lay in the hundreds of thousands. I had freed nations from dictators, slew zombies with impunity, destroyed criminal empires and even started a few of my own, and executed kills which would take off a person’s head and eviscerate their internal organs. I had my face spattered with my blood and the blood of those standing in my way. But this woman was different. I had never seen anything quite like this old woman lying in front of me. She was alone, save for me and another person. She was also dying. I watched as her face slowly turned blue, and then purple, as oxygen no longer flowed toward her brain and skin – hypoxia at its worst. I saw how her heart grew weaker with each passing second; the delay between beats grew until finally it stopped beating completely. I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding. This woman’s eyes were looking at me, but staring beyond me at nothing at all, glazed over and partially reflecting my pale face.
Flash forward four years later. I still remember that woman’s face and how she looked. I justified it in my mind that she was old and her time was up. I moved past her and continued on my way. Then I was confronted with another woman, except this one was young and very attractive. She was also dead, even though I had tried to save this one. She shouldn’t have died, and was only a few years older than me. Her hair was red, unlike the grayish white of the other woman. A petite young woman, she looked like she took very good care of herself, and certainly had no life-altering bad habits. Her face too was purple, her eyes glazed over in a death trance. Her wallet was sitting on the table near me, and I reached out for it, opening it up to her driver’s license. I had wanted to know this young woman’s name. In her picture, she was smiling, so full of life, looking forward to plans later in the day that picture was taken, headed to work soon after or school, or maybe just happy to get one errand done in the day and move onto the next. It was also taken a little over a year earlier. Her family ended up arriving, and I had to leave; their faces so full of pain and sadness it mirrored my own. I really did try to save her too, but I didn’t know how I could say that while my mouth was so dry. It was made worse that she was engaged, her ring lying on the table next to her purse. It turns out her fiancé was serving over in Iraq – a country in a region I had seen many times, but from a different perspective; through a television and with a controller in my hands. I walked away and started to cry a little, sad at the news her fiancé would receive, and sad that a young, pretty girl like that is now dead for no good reason.
My name is Mark, and these are the two faces that will haunt me for the rest of my life. These are the faces of people who died in real life, and what death really looks like. There is no dramatic final scene, no thumping orchestral music, and no experience gained unless you want to count the kind that comes from living day-to-day. I have been playing video games since I was five years old, way back on the NES. Violent video games were always a part of my life, and I never blinked an eye when I was told to kill. So it should be expected that when faced with death, it’s no big deal. After all, I had seen countless deaths, both graphic and subtle, in video games right? Wrong. I was 21 years old when I saw someone actually die – her heart slowly stopping as the doctor decided enough was enough – and it was in that ER when I was a volunteer. A little over a year ago, four years after I saw that and now working in the ER, I saw that young woman come in already mostly dead from a massive asthma attack. The argument, that violent video games desensitize children to violence and death is complete and utter bullshit, and I am walking proof of it.
Do you guys even remember the 1st Tekken game? Because I sure can’t, what with all the years that have passed. Actually, you know what, I didn’t even get to play the first two Tekken games. I only remember playing Tekken 3. Which, by the way, was such an overly awesome game! The first Tekken game was released back in 1994, and it has been over 18 years for its latest sequel to come out. A spinoff from the main title and the sequel to the 1999 Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is coming out for September 11 here in the United States. This article is targeted for those living in and around New York. But if you’re not from New York, you’re still welcome to read this post.
Ah, I love the smell of a convention floor with a tad mix of gaming frenzy. That is Gamescom for you. Alright, I can hear you ask yourself “What the heck is Gamescom?” I can answer that for you. Think of Gamescom like the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3. Instead of in the US, Gamescom is held in Koelnmesse in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. An annual event that started back in 2009 whose promising cult followers(if you can already establish a cult following just being its 3rd year) have gathered from all over the world. Don’t forget the exhibitors, almost every game developer from 39 different countries have signed up for this year’s Gamescon. All sorts of news, trailers, and inside reports are in store. Come and join me as we uncover all the details Gamescon has to offer.
Some of you may be familiar with the Youtube user Freddie Wong and some may also have seen his series “Video Game High School” (or VGHS for short). If you’re not, then here’s a video from his archive that gives you a general idea of the kind of movies he makes:
Pretty sick. I recently caught up with his videos as the rest of his circle of movie makers and with all this editing to live footage I’ve began to wonder: how real is too real in a video game? Of course the better the graphics the more visually appealing it is and the more immersed the users will be in the game. But it’s not just simply graphics that I’m trying to focus on. What I want to focus on is the gameplay aspect of it.
Take this game for example. You got bullet drop, gigantic, destructible maps, explosions, etc and it’s all fun because it’s arcade-y. It’s fast paced. It feels REAL in the most arcade-like way you can imagine. But because it’s so fast paced it takes away from that realism. You don’t have people running up to tanks to plant c4′s, blowing it up and dying only to be picked up by a medic nearby who just happened to carry around defibs wherever he goes and then they go on their merry way shooting up the rest of America or Russia or whatever part of the world that’s significant. It doesn’t work like that in real life. But that’s what makes it fun, right?
I’ve went over this game two weeks ago and this is the complete opposite of BF3 but still has that “real” feeling to it. It’s very slow paced. In fact, it’s so slow paced you have to worry about your hunger and thirst while you watch the day go by in real time. The single life you live (not really single but you know what I mean) rides solely on your tactical planning and if you die, no one’s going to run over and defib you. The only thing defibbing you is the server when it brings you back to life with none of your stuff at some random location along the shore line. It isn’t a gigantic battlefield and yet the map is easily twenty times bigger than the map BF3. People operate in small squads of 2-4 usually but they don’t go charging in. In fact even in squad formations you have to worry about watching flanks, having spotters, you have to take turns crossing a street one by one, everything you take for granted in short 3-10 minute life spans is amplified by 100 when your average life span is 45 minutes in the game. Obviously this is less arcade-y but at the same time the number of players of DayZ is steadily growing.
On the left: DayZ. On the right: BF3. Not exactly a comparison but it gives you an idea.
So with a growing fanbase for the ArmA 2 mod (they’re making a standalone DayZ game which is AWESOME), what is this saying about what gamers expect from a shooter? Are they looking for realism? Like REAL combat simulating realism? And if so, where is the line drawn when adding more and more of the smaller details that comes with engaging an actual firefight? America’s Army had a steady aim meter that degenerated when you were being suppressed and was buffed when a CO stood next to you. Using medikits in America’s army also only stopped the bleeding and nothing more. In DayZ you can break your legs and in BF3 you have bullet travel time and bullet drop. In Metal Gear Solid you had footprints, hunger pangs, smoke, camoflage, etc. There’s a LOT of realism in games that other games don’t have. Imagine combining all of this together into one game. What would you have then? Obviously it’d be slower paced but would it be any good? You have so much to consider in a game that you’d be worrying more about yourself rather than the enemy… which I suppose is realistic, too since any normal person would put their own personal safety over killing someone… right?
But seriously, how realistic would be too realistic? Would you like shooters to look into more camouflaged oriented play? Would it be cool to have “bleeding” and medkits only fixed that? Bullet drop stays, right? If not slower respawn times would strategically placed respawn points in designated start zones of a giant map be better? Should there be a more realistic suppression system like BF3? Food and water… why not pee and poop as well? Sleep deprivation? Hypothermia and hyperthermia due to times of day? Sore muscles? Exhaustion? Where should the line be drawn?
Movies based on video games are not new. But an animated movie that revolves around the characters inside a video game is. Literally the characters that you play inside the video games. That’s what Wreck-It Ralph is all about. Ralph is actually the antagonist in the game. Only, he feels being bad isn’t all that good. We’ve all seen a movie or two of these video game flicks. Mainly coming out in the late ’80s up to the ’90s. Then there’s the massive influx in all the Pokemon movies. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. We’re here to talk about Wreck-It Ralph and all the other video game based movies that either didn’t or did well in the box office.
It’s that time again nerds! This is how our year starts off. With San Diego Comic Con! (Classical Music Plays) With news on upcoming movies, comic book events, television, more stuff for your toy chest, games, and other merchandise you can stuff a chimichanga with. That’s what the annual Comic Convention is all about. Nerds galore, or more appropriately, Nerdvana. Last week, over 200,000 people attended the widely celebrated event starting from July 11 (Preview Night) and going through July 12th to the 15th. I was supposed to go, already bought over $200 worth of badges for me and my brother, but alas, I must tend to my family. Which sucked ass! But that didn’t stop me from finding ways to feel like I was there. Join me as we go through the highlights of this year’s Con.