What’s Up With Apple?

Any new product launch from Cupertino generates both positive and negative buzz, Apple’s recent product launches have generated more than the usual amount of controversy. Longtime Apple fans have come out of the woodwork, grumbling more than usual at the changes wrought with the new iPhone and Macbook launches. Does the elevated level of discontent signal Apple has stopped listening to its customers? Or do the new product launches represent omens of future strategies? Eric and I talk argue about…Continue reading What’s Up With Apple?

How Much Video Memory?

I’ve been running a ton of benchmarks, as well as playing a lot of games while testing the new generation of GPUs. I’ve also looked at a lot of other reviews, and the general consensus seems to be that the era of 4GB being enough has come to a close. That seems a little presumptuous to me. You only have to look at the Steam Hardware Survey to realize that 4GB cards should be more than adequate for a little…Continue reading How Much Video Memory?

Gamelock: When a Game Owns Your Life

You look at the clock and graon. It’s late. Very late. So you head off to bed, but when you wake up in the morning, you think about tactics, the right builds, leveling up, weapons configurations, story branches. Your workday blurs due to lack of sleep. You find yourself in meetings, drumming your fingers absently on conference room tables, thinking about tonight’s game. You get home, wolf down a microwaved dinner, and fire up your PC, once more immersed in…Continue reading Gamelock: When a Game Owns Your Life

Attention Budget and Sturgeon’s Law

I find myself in the doldrums when it comes to PC games these days. I feel like I’m cruising through a Sargasso Sea of endless games that almost but not quite hit the mark. Stellaris, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, and Offworld Trading Company all appeal to my sensibilities, but when I sit down to play, I find the experiences oddly flat. And don’t even get me started on Doom; I’ve long since lost interest in frantic, old-school first person shooters. Give me something a…Continue reading Attention Budget and Sturgeon’s Law

Games Make You Violent*

*But not in the way you think. A lot of virtual and real ink has been spilled regarding the issue of violence in games somehow causing the players to become violent, or perhaps to become desensitized to violence. Most of the research has suggested the causal link between violence in games and violence in the real world is tenuous at best. But this not about that. Jamie Madigan, who I only know from my interactions on Broken Forum , is a…Continue reading Games Make You Violent*

Video Games Get Vertical

Video games now permeate society at all age levels and socioeconomic strata. The vast numbers of people playing games creates communities of gamers who live only in their particular gaming niche. Electronic gaming was always a tribal activity, but today’s gaming communities seem more narrowly focused than ever. Online FPS gamers and MOBA players rarely mix or read about the other’s activities. Strategy players live for one more turn, or a few more minutes, RPG aficionados obsess over their characters. Indie…Continue reading Video Games Get Vertical

Shared Universes And Fan Creativity

Star Wars. Star Trek. Mass Effect. The Elder Scrolls. Firefly. Lord of the Rings. What do these have in common? These are creative endeavors whose fans extend and enhance the original creations. Independent films, online video, game mods, cosplay are all creations of fans, and serve to extend and enhance the enjoyment of these shared universes, sometimes long after they’ve been abandoned by their creators. What is it about these universes, and not others, that generate such enthusiasm and devotion…Continue reading Shared Universes And Fan Creativity

Pandemic Legacy: Boardgame as RPG

If you play board games at all, you may have heard of Pandemic Legacy. Based on the co-op game engine from the original Pandemic, Pandemic Legacy offers a new take on board games: the board game as story. (Note: you may find very light spoilers about the game, but nothing substantial is revealed). The game itself has generated considerable controversy in the hobby game community. It’s one of the new generation of “consumable” games. Once you play through 12-24 times…Continue reading Pandemic Legacy: Boardgame as RPG