Saw this on Dorkdaddy’s Facebook page and had to share it. Technically, not gaming-related, but definitely sci fi and coolness-related.
Hope you enjoyed it!
I was on YouTube the other day doing some research for MOMmentary and I stumbled on video blogger, MinnesotaBurns’ video, COD4 Hacker Rehab (below). MinnesotaBurns aka Trollarch CEO, Burnsy, and John Trollsten, started his channel January 2011 with the intent of trolling gamers … Continue reading
The victory for GamerDude is a bittersweet one (my WordPress friend, Bitter Ben would argue there’s no other kind of sweetness) — I’ve given him permission to play Call of Duty: Black Ops II, if he plays within the following parameters: … Continue reading
Saw this on Tumblr (ThePerplexedObserver) and since I’ve got a review that still needs editing, you get this instead. I showed it to the GamerDude (he’s informed me that he doesn’t like to be referred to as “GamerBoy” on this … Continue reading
Reblogged from Financial Post | Business: Score: 6.5/10 Platform: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PlayStation 3, Windows PC Developer: Re-Logic Publisher: 505 Games Release: March 27, 2013 (Xbox 360 version) ESRB: T My first half hour with Terraria left me tempted to write it off as a blatant … Continue reading
Saw this on Dorkdaddy’s Facebook page and had to share it. Technically, not gaming-related, but definitely sci fi and coolness-related.
Hope you enjoyed it!
In the comments section of yesterday’s Uniting the generations through COD The Double Parent asked:
Have you reached a decision about the game for your son?
I started writing a response in the comments, and then I realized that it was becoming a blog post. So here’s my response:
Personally, the shoot’em up style FPS games continue to make me uncomfortable. That said, I’m packing less testosterone than a lot of FPS fans. My intent isn’t to reinforce gender stereotypes re: boys are more aggressive than girls (or snakes, snails & puppy dog tails, which, as a little girl I always thought seemed much better than sugar, spice & all things nice!). But generally speaking, boys find violent and physical play to be more cathartic — even therapeutic — than girls.
I used to be very strict with the no-violent-video-games rule in my house and you know what? At that time, my son was getting into playground fights at school. I allow some violent games now, and he hasn’t been in a playground fight in over two years.
Admittedly, there are a lot of factors that contributed to the playground fights, as well as to his current success in regulating and managing himself when he sees injustices on the playground — his MO has always been “defender of social justice”; fighting for what’s fair for himself and others. But he tells me that after a crappy and/or frustrating day, he finds respite in his violent video games. It’s a zone of total fantasy where he can take a break from civil society and be pure id for a spot of time. And I don’t have a difficult time getting him to stop playing when I ask him to stop.
I think it’s also important to emphasize that violent video games represent a fraction of Gamer Boy’s collection of video games. He’s also quite outdoorsy and sporty.
Between us, I’m leaning toward a yes and I’ll elaborate on that in an actual review. I plan on keeping this from Gamer Boy though, otherwise I’ll never hear the end of it!
Gamer Boy has been after me for ages to let him buy & play Call of Duty franchise games. Specifically, he wants to play COD: Black Ops. So I’ve been info gathering and reviewing the game for him (& you!). In my searches I found this wonderful video, posted just two months ago on YouTube by a teen — it’s an edited video of him playing COD: Black Ops with his 84-year-old grandfather. They’re both having so much fun together. And I know the point of the video is to view the older man’s reactions to playing, but I loved the interplay between the two. If you haven’t seen it — watch here:
The boys (brothers) who made the video of their grandfather playing video games with them seem very sweet and well-mannered to boot. I found this thank you video from one of the boys — posted after their video went viral. To his mother and father; nice work! (I’ll bet he sends thank you cards too!)
You’ll want to see this gem by Jordan Maron aka CaptainSparklez:
MINECRAFT: If your gamer is under the age of 16, the chances are excellent you’ve heard of this incredibly popular E10+ digital download for PC and Xbox (PlayXBLA). This week, PlayXBLA announced they`ll be unleashing Minecraft on
parents disc for Xbox users who aren’t connected to the game through XboxLive. Ready yourselves to see Minecraft on disc hit the US retail market next month — April 30.
According to IGN the disc version of the game will have the same features and content found in the current digital version and players using both game formats will be able to join each other in multiplayer mode. As well, retail Minecraft will include the highly anticipated additions from the ninth update.
So what IS Minecraft anyway?
Let me start by telling you what it isn’t: it’s not a campaign and there’s no narrative guiding the action, per se (although the final goal of the game is to fight and slay the Enderdragon). I’ve heard it referred to as a sandbox game, meaning the player has tools to modify the world they’re playing in, and to create how they play in it. The overarching goal of Minecraft is to build whatever captures the imagination from the highly stylized and pixelated Minecraft world.
Your child will choose between Creative play mode and Survival play mode. Both play modes experience day and night play, but in Creative mode the player is invincible and in Survival mode, you guessed it — players are required to survive attacks from creepers, enders, spiders and other monsters that reproduce in dark crannies and spaces of the game.
During the day in Survival mode, players will be conscious of feeding themselves and maintaining a level of health that is above 30%. There are animals that drop meat throughout the game and players need to pick this food up when they find it, but they’ll also need to pace themselves because animals don’t frequent the Minecraft terrain! Also, GamerBoy emphasizes the importance of sheep for their wool — you can make a bed of their wool and sleep safely through the night (this is the only time I’ve ever heard him talk about the importance of sleep to his quality of life).
At the start of the day, players need to build well-lit structures and weapons with the resources they find through their explorations. Weapons are helpful in defeating and fending off monster attacks. But both modes have players searching for and accumulating resources.
As the game’s name suggests, crafting is central to Minecraft. Players will be able to craft some items from the inventory provided to them at the start of the game, but a craft table is necessary for the heavy-duty crafting that intense Minecraft play demands. GamerBoy tells me that the bread and butter of the game as far as resources are concerned are stone and coal. You’ll use these resources to craft your first, most important tool — the iconic Minecraft pickaxe. Once a player has this tool they can go on to mine cobblestone, which can be used for even stronger tools!
Minecraft play is chock-full with details of mining and creating and I’ve really only scratched the surface here. One of the best (and most entertaining!) tutorials I’ve seen on Youtube — and there are LOTS — is Conan O’Brien`s Clueless Gamer review.
Also, Conan appears to have and advance copy of the retail disc Minecraft in this video! *Edit: GamerBoy drew my attention to Conan’s LIVE version, so, like, no advanced copy. Still – Enjoy:
It’s next to impossible to keep up with Todd McFarlane and Ubisoft, which, if you’re the parent of an Assassin’s Creed (AC) fan, you’ll be smart to try. Since today is the widely publicized release day for the Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag game trailer and game release announcement, I’ve been online upon waking. In case you missed it, AC4 is slated for October 29, 2013 release. View the game trailer here:
In my last post on this topic I jokingly suggested a media blackout as a means of staying ahead of Gamer Boy — at least until I knew more about this installment to the AC franchise. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until last night at dinner when he asked me if he could pre-order AC4, “Pleeeease! If I do I’ll get a limited edition Assassin’s Creed IV poster by Todd McFarlane!”
Two steps behind him again. Sigh.
I checked into the poster bonus today and discovered that Tood McFarlane has indeed illustrated a poster (source: IGN). The Assassin’s Creed website provides a pre-order purchase link, but it’s still leading to a PRODUCT NOT AVAILABLE page (at time of publication) — buying me more time to make my decision.
In the process of conducting this AC4/Todd McFarlane research I stumbled on another goody for AC fans:
— Todd McFarlane (@Todd_McFarlane) March 3, 2013
These toys were made public on February 12, less than a month ago, but they won’t be available for purchase until this summer, giving me the gift of time. And really, it’s only a matter of time before Gamer Boy starts in on me for these action figures (& DLCs!). Still, it’s a small satisfaction being ahead of him on this one, if only for a moment.
I’ll keep you posted about my decision re: to buy AC4 and the figures, or not.
Shizzle is going DOWN this Monday. Why? Oh, a little game called Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is on the way.
In a statement sent to Digital Spy Ubisoft said:
“We confirm that Ubisoft will announce all the details of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag on Monday March 4th at 5pm GMT.”
HOLD THE PHONE — I haven’t even given permission for Gamer Boy to play AC3 (never mind rumored AC3: Washington Edition, a bundle including all of the DLCs to date AND the game). Now Ubisoft raises expectations/excitement/anticipation with another chapter of the franchise? So much AC, so little time…
According to Matthew Reynolds from Digital Spy, AC4 is slated for release on current and next generation systems this year — during Ubisoft’s 2014 fiscal year — and it will be game-ready for Xbox 360, PS3 (PS3 will also have 60 minutes of exclusive content — sweet), PC, and Wii U.
What’s the setting for AC4?
Apparently it’s the high seas — pirate-style. Reynolds confirms that the location is somewhere in the Caribbean, and that the main character (Edward Kenway) is a privateer, assassin (of course), and a pirate. Here’s a peek for you — box art from the game:
Paul Tassi for Forbes confirmed that Ubisoft would be dishing out more information this Monday, March 4. So I’ve got A LOT of reading and research to do in preparation for Gamer Boy’s AC4
harassment pleas. Hmmm… I wonder how long I can manage a successful Assassin’s Creed media blackout in this house…
Here are the highlights from Sony's PlayStation event tonight. Probably will have more tomorrow in all the post-announcement buzz.
- PC-like architecture. x86 CPU with an "enhanced PC GPU" for graphics
- 8 GB of RAM
- New Dual Shock 4 controller - more rounded with rubberized grip and "enhanced rumble capabilities"
- Controller has a touchpad on top in the middle, a share button, and a headphone jack.
About a month ago I wrote about the staggered release of downloadable content (DLC) by the Elder Scrolls (TES) franchise. By early February, the DLC was ready and waiting to be played on PC. And this week, to the excitement of PS3 users, it’s available on PSN (Playstation Network).
This week’s PS3 release is the beginning of a three-week Skyrim DLC-release schedule – it will be followed by Hearthfire next week and Dawngard during the last week of February. Both Hearthfire and Dawnguard DLCs have been available to PC and Xbox 360 users since summer and fall of 2012.
There’s been a lot of excitement and anticipation in our house around this release. I actually imposed an embargo on questions like, “Have you had a chance to look at the reviews?” “…watch the trailers.” “…see the game play?” And there were strict penalties for asking me any of these questions (or variations of them) more than once a day(!).
As in Skyrim, the DLC received an M(ature)-rating due to the potential for play that contains blood and gore, intense violence, sexual themes, and use of alcohol. I say POTENTIAL because the format of the game — open world role playing game (RPG) — lends itself very well to a modified version of the game that could be rated T(een). The issue as a parent becomes, do you: 1. Trust your child to play a version of the DLC that agrees with your family values, and/or 2. monitor their play as a copilot watching your child play?
In TES tradition, the game’s animation is stunningly detailed — it’s gorgeous. Even the island of Solstheim, which lacks colorful flourish, is rich in detail. And so is the musical score.
I’d read that the DLC was a bit glitchy and buggy in places and found this to be the case with ours (PC). And by the way, I opted for a combination of 1 and 2 above, trusting my son to play a version of the game that I’d allow him to play while I was out of the room, as well as working alongside him as he played. My advice (and code of conduct rule) to The Gamer Boy is that he should always play as if I’m sitting beside him (not as creepy as it sounds).
It’s possible to play a T-rated version of the DLC that’s limited in violent gameplay, sexual content, and use of alcohol. The open world RPG design of the game lends itself to exploration, which is a major component of the main quest and the game’s narrative. Fans of TES games will be pleased with this DLC — mine certainly is. The Gamer Boy is challenged by the problems that are presented to him in the DLC and gratified by the rewards reaped from completing challenges. In addition, this DLC is a feast for the eyes and the ears — both players and observers can enjoy this one.
VERDICT: RECOMMEND FOR SOME KIDS 12 YEARS PLUS
Gamers may soon have a leading edge in advanced education. An international research consortium just released a report identifying games and the use of game-thinking and mechanics in the development and implementation of post secondary studies.
These findings from the New Media Consortium’s (NMC) Horizon Report 2013 (10th annual) are kind of blowing my mind. And they’re more than a little surprising for my husband, The Dean (he’s actually a university college Dean of Arts & Science).
Instead of sharing a game review today, I wanted to share some of the NMC’s exciting (gaming-related) findings. But first:
What’s the NMC?
It’s an international not-for-profit consortium of over 250 universities, colleges, museums, and corporations that focuses on the study and application of new media and technology. Here’s what it said about games and gamification:
Gamers to PWN (“pone”) Universities & Colleges (my twist)
Although NMC predicts gamification (fancy-schmancy word meaning; “using game-thinking and mechanics”) will significantly take off over the next two to three years, there are already campuses and programs using this method in the delivery of their courses. The NMC reports the IE Business School (Madrid) is one of them. IE Business School is teaching students global economic policy through a game called 10 Downing Street, an RPG (role playing game) in which students play the British Prime Minister. The game also fosters collaborative learning by requiring that students work in six-person teams to debate policy options. According to the NMC,
“Scenarios like this one demonstrate the power of games to mimic pressing issues, requiring students to do higher-level thinking and exercise skills pertinent to their area of study.”
Game play, according to the NMC “continues to be a major focal point of discussions among educators”, and a controversial one at that. As with any new development concerns about longevity and validity arise. In this case the concern is that it’s a trend that “carries the danger of immediately disenchanting students if executed poorly.” (I can think of a few university courses and a grad school program that managed the same for me, without the help of gamification.)
At present there are schools of Architecture, Nursing, Music, Business, and (get this) History (to name a few) that are either using or developing interactive games for training and education.
An example of a game designed for use in schools of Architecture is SimArchitect (developed by IBM Center for Advanced Learning). This game puts players in scenarios where they are given an RFP (request for proposal) by a virtual client. The gameplay involves preparing the proposal as well as conducting meetings with the client and their team.
The University of Florida is currently involved in developing a game (The Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative project) that will see virtual characters of early Williamsburg, Virginia brought to life in a geographically and culturally accurate world. Students who play the game will have the opportunity explore and interact with this world and the characters in it.
At McGill University (Montreal) an Open Orchestra simulation game gives musicians the experience of playing in an orchestra or singing in an opera through the use of augmented reality technology. In this example, the game’s use of high definition panoramic video and surround sound creates the total experience.
Meanwhile in Austin, St. Edward’s University is using a game that turns its students into superheroes. Through the Global Social Problems, Local Action & Social Networks for Change project, students play an RPG which puts them at the center of a large-scale global social problem. As superheros, students are tasked with fighting these problems at a local level. (talk about PWNing!)
The NMC report lists seven other examples of games in development or in play at the post secondary level. It concludes that there are broad applications for gaming and gamification in both teaching and learning. Gamification, NMC says, is one way to develop and improve skills, while creating a motivational atmosphere in which to do it. My son (The Gamer) wholeheartedly agrees.
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