Gaming

[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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This Deal Is Getting Worse All The Time – Disney Shuts Down Lucasarts

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This Deal Is Getting Worse All The Time – Disney Shuts Down Lucasarts

Few studios have made a lasting and important impression in the gaming industry. Some of the biggest franchises of the last two generations are new IP’s from upstart studios, and while they produce brilliant work, I really don’t feel anything when names like Naughty Dog, Bungie or Treyarch are thrown around.

But if you say Bethesda, Bioware, or Lucasarts, my eyes light up. I’m ten years old again, earnestly clicking through dialogue in my parents’ computer room. My big eyes are awash in the warm glow of a gigantic monitor with a two-liter of soda tucked between my knees, a soft blanket wrapped around my shoulders, and not a care in the world.

Today another part of that childhood is forever cemented as past. Disney has announced that they’re shutting down Lucasarts, and I have to say my feelings are more than a little hurt.

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Gears of War: Judgement Impressions

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Gears of War: Judgement Impressions

The Gears of War franchise is one of the unquestionable successes of this generation of interactive entertainment. The first title in the franchise came in late 2006, unheralded from a PC-centric development studio and it simply destroyed its competition. It became the killer app for the Xbox 360, arguably pushing even the vaunted Halo franchise to the wings with its combination of simple yet fluid controls, great pick-up-and-play co-op, and what was at-the-time an innovative design and look; the ‘Destroyed Beauty’ visual archetype and its under-saturated palette was such a striking combination that it quite nearly became a default choice for designers of this generation.

Seven years later, Epic Game satellite studio People Can Fly has released upon the world the fourth title in the now-titanic franchise, Gears of War: Judgement, a prequel of sorts and definitely a departure in form and tone from its predecessors. The lateral movements in Judgement don’t stop there, but are these changes in service or opposition for the now-beloved franchise? Find out here!

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[Game Connection] E-Sports and Competitive Gaming

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[Game Connection] E-Sports and Competitive Gaming

E-Sports and the competitive gaming scene are a growing part of the industry and gaming culture, despite the many false starts and inconclusive attempts at formal leagues. At Game Connection, I took the opportunity to ask Mr. Caleb Fox, head of Wargaming America, about his views on the competitive scene and how it affects game balance and design.

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Konami Unveils Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain at GDC

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Konami Unveils Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain at GDC

At last year’s PAX Prime, Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima unveiled Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, an amazing tech demo that showed off Kojima Productions’ new FOX Engine.

A few months later, at the Spike TV Video Game Awards, Swedish game developer Moby Dick Studios unveiled a trailer for a supernatural thriller called The Phantom Pain. It wasn’t long, however, before speculation began that The Phantom Pain was really Metal Gear Solid V in disguise.

At GDC 2013, those suspicions were, in fact, confirmed.

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[Game Connection] Marketing and Gaming, from an Insider

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[Game Connection] Marketing and Gaming, from an Insider

Game Connection is a growing site of marketing and business development in the games industry, and while there weren’t that many booths on hand, there were a number of marketing and business experts in the field present who provided an insider’s view of a very different aspect of the gaming industry than the creative one.

Among those present was Carmel Ben-Or of TAKEOFF CSH, a marketing agency that’s worked with a number of large and small companies for projects in the industry. I took the time to ask him some broad questions about his work in the field – how marketing material is conceived and how it interacts with gaming culture.

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State of Play – The Next Generation

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State of Play – The Next Generation
 
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, where communities can 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 game.

We’ve known that the next generation of major consoles is coming for some time via patent filings, interview slip-ups, and internal leaks. Much of what we know is based on these ephemeral sources, and so up to now, discussions of syntax and semantics have been as prevalent as grounded, factual, logical discussion.

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Review – Castlevania: Mirror of Fate 3DS

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Review – Castlevania: Mirror of Fate 3DS

Rating: 7.0

I’m a sucker for a good Castlevania game, and even more so on a handheld device. There is something special about getting to sit down and kill zombies on the go. This time around Konami went for the 3DS promising a 3D-2D Castlevania. So how does this game hold up to it’s predecessors? Is this the next great handheld Castlevania??

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