Gaming

Why Killing Used Games Won’t Help Consumers

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Why Killing Used Games Won’t Help Consumers

The XBox One has already given us many reasons for disappointment but the used game situation stands out as especially dire.

And Ben Kuchera of the Penny Arcade Report, supposedly a bastion of critical coverage in the oft-troubled arena of videogame trade journalism, has – astonishingly – told us it could be good news.

The purported drawbacks of the used game market for developers and publishers are well-known, but here’s a brief summary: publishers pocket some fraction of the revenue from the initial sale of a new game, doling out a contractually-obligated portion of that revenue to the developers who produced it. The consumer may eventually sell the copy back to the retailer, who sells it again – this time taking the entirety of the profits for themselves.

Publishers resent this secondary market almost as much as outright piracy. Steam-style digital distribution may attract good press from gamers enamored by convenience and (sometimes) more appealing prices, but make no mistake: Microsoft is pushing digital distribution because they aim to profit from increased control and directly-marketed licensed products, not because it’s consumer-friendly.

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Bioshock Infinite and Privilege – A Response

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Bioshock Infinite and Privilege – A Response

It’s been quite a while since we discussed this, but after the publication of this article on Bioshock: Infinite and privelege, one of our readers chose to write a response we felt merited publication. Enjoy.

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Roughly halfway through Bioshock Infinite, the dispossessed underclasses of the floating city of Columbia suddenly turn from victims to villains, with the working-class minority rebels of the Vox Populi replacing the oppressive, bigoted Founders as the leading perpetrators of violence and terror. In a game that otherwise stands out for its meticulous nuance and daring exploration of tough issues, this transition winds up dodging the meatiest issues of race and class that Infinite initially promises to confront.

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State of Play – Responsibility

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State of Play – Responsibility

Welcome to State of Play, a new editorial column from Pixelated Geek. In State of Play, we’ll be dealing with major issues in the gaming community, and we’ll be reaching out to our community for feedback and interaction. Our goal with State of Play is to create a respectful, professional, and insightful dialogue within a group of serious interested parties. Games are serious business, not just the largest moving part of the entertainment economy, but a form of expression where emotionally impactful stories are told throughout communities that grow and bond, and they’re an important educational tool. We take games seriously here, and the goal of this article is to seriously analyze the serious business of gaming.

A massive misconception has been spread among the world’s more fortunate countries that we live in an age of violence and brutality. Invariably, our news media and politicians lay the blame for this condition squarely at the feet of popular entertainment media. But the assertion that violence in our media (be it movies, TV, video games, or music) is responsible for the violence in our culture is one of the most tired and intellectually lazy pieces of politically-motivated propaganda present in modern society.

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Microsoft’s Xbox One vs. Sony’s Playstation 4

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The first volley of the next generation console war has been fired, and as the smoke clears, it becomes apparent that we know far less about the imminent release of the Playstation 4 and the Xbox One than is customary for hardware releases of this size and importance.

We’ve put together a comparison of what we do know in order to better illustrate the differences between the two, and we will be updating as more information becomes available.

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Xbox One – The Next Generation of Microsoft’s Gaming Console

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Xbox One – The Next Generation of Microsoft’s Gaming Console

Today sees the announcement of Microsoft’s next generation of gaming console, and the stakes are high.

Microsoft has lost a lot of consumer faith over the last six months due to a number of crippling rumors about the features of the new Xbox – and perhaps more importantly, a lack of response to these rumors. Threats of always-on internet connectivity requirements, relatively lackluster specs, storage media concerns, and more have spread like wildfire, and Microsoft’s response has largely been dangerous silence. Sony’s headstart announcement did a lot to build momentum for the storied giant and to provide a safe alternative to many of the concerns that the gaming public has about the Xbox.

And therefore today’s conference is an incredibly important moment for Microsoft. They still have a great deal of brand momentum, and they absolutely need to use it. There are important questions that need to be answered, and they need to be answered clearly and quickly.

So what’s the verdict on today’s conference? Does the Xbox One deserve your attention? Find out below.

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State of Play – Crowd-Funding: A Discussion

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State of Play – Crowd-Funding: A Discussion

Welcome to State of Play, a new editorial column from Pixelated Geek. In State of Play, we’ll be dealing with major issues in the gaming community and reaching out for feedback and interaction. Our goal with State of Play is to create a respectful, professional, and insightful dialogue within a group of serious interested parties. Games are a serious business. They’re not just the largest moving part of the entertainment economy, they’re a form of expression where emotionally impactful stories are told throughout communities that grow and bond, as well as an important educational tool. We take games seriously, and the goal of this article is to seriously analyze the serious business of games.

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Review: Injustice Gods Among Us (XBox 360)

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Review: Injustice Gods Among Us (XBox 360)

injustice-gods-among-us-xbox-360-box-artOver time the fighting game genre has grown from an arcade clique to a world wide tournament. Many have tried to carve their niche in the fighting game world, but one company has outlasted and out gunned many upstarts.  NeatherRealm, the creators of the legendary Mortal Kombat series, have their roots planted deep in the fighting game community being the first to introduce blood and gore into their games.  Now with a combined effort from DC Comics, the most iconic heroes and villains will go head to head in an arena built for epic Kombat.

 

Overall: 8.6 Gotta get it!”

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Ratchet and Clank to hit the big screen

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Ratchet and Clank to hit the big screen

Fans of Insomniac Games’ Ratchet and Clank were given a special treat today with an official announcement teaser for an upcoming movie adaptation.

This collaboration between Insomniac Games, Sony Computer Entertainment, Blockade Entertainment, and Rainmaker Entertainment (who recently released Escape From Planet Earth in theaters and have also worked on a direct-to-video adaptation of Heavenly Sword), is scheduled for a 2015 release.

Some promising developments leave gamers weary of Uwe Boll-style adaptations-in-name only room for a little cautious optimism. Most notably, the film will be in CGI, and Insomniac has been playing a strong collaborative and advisory role rather than simply handing their franchise off to a director to be lost in translation. It will also feature some of the games’ original voice cast and even utilize game 3D assets, helping to create a sense of continuity.

“Insomniac would never agree to participate in helping create a Ratchet & Clank movie were it not for our ability to guide script development, and consult on character creation and animation support,” said Rob Schneider, brand development director at Insomniac Games. “With that in mind, we hope gamers are as excited about the Ratchet & Clank film as we are – our goal is to shatter the perception that authentic games-to-film adaptations can’t get made in Hollywood.”

You’re not here for editorializing, though, you’re here for the teaser trailer, and it’s right after the break.

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[Editorial] Bioshock: Infinite and Privileged Narratives

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[Editorial] Bioshock: Infinite and Privileged Narratives

Bioshock: Infinite is daring in many ways – but when it comes to politics, its appeal to the middle is a privileged statement in itself.

Of course, a video game is neither a textbook nor a piece of propaganda. It has no obligation to espouse or further any particular philosophy. But two of Infinite’s strongest themes are the danger of nostalgia eclipsing reality and the empty use of symbols without truly embracing their meaning. It’s unfortunate that the game, in its use of race and class oppression, is arguably falling prey to these behaviors. It draws on the symbols of oppression to make us uncomfortable, but refuses to provide answers for those being oppressed.

Much like Columbia’s treatment of its underclass, Infinite uses race and class concerns when convenient, but only as part of the background noise.

Obviously, spoilers are going to happen from this point on. Be warned.

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