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Editorials

August 26, 2005

Bright Lights, Big City

by Bonnie Ruberg - 2:31 pm PDT

The Nintendo World Store: they’ve got the games, but can they deliver the goods?

Somewhere out there, like some mythical creature, there exists a store just for Nintendo. The close cousin of other such decadent shopping fantasies as wholesale cupcake shops and free computer giveaways, an all-Nintendo store seems to promise decades of classic-title fun, packed into one high-energy,... Read more...

August 4, 2005

An American Gamer in France

by Bonnie Ruberg - 12:31 pm PDT

Looking at the effects of society, media, and big business on the cultural presence of video games on either side of the Atlantic.

As American gamers, it’s not so unusual to stop and think about what gaming culture is like in Japan. Japanese top-ten charts, reports of “wacky” products, and stories of extreme fanaticism often make our video game news. On the social ladder of the gaming world, Japan still stands, if precariously,... Read more...

July 26, 2005

DS is for Old People

by Mike Sklens - 8:49 pm PDT

Kids today are spoiled. In my day we didn't have these fancy hard drives and memory cards. We wrote down passwords and we were just fine with that.

Have you ever heard those stories from your grandparents about how candy used to only cost a nickel, or about how they had to walk three miles in the snow and back to go to school and they liked it? I think that is where we are at right now with video games. Us twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings,... Read more...

June 30, 2005

The Moment

by Karl Castaneda - 5:49 pm PDT
Total comments: 18

When you can feel a character, not just play as him. It's all about that moment.

I was recently going through some long-untouched games in my library, two in particular. First was Resident Evil 4 (not that old, but I haven’t played it in around four months). As I traveled along the path of Leon’s adventure, I eventually found myself at the cabin that left all who played it... Read more...

June 27, 2005

Socially Acceptable

by Michael Cole - 1:22 am PDT

Despite games becoming more mainstream, gamers are still left to feel like outcasts with the broader culture.

What are your hobbies?

Almost everyone has been asked this—perhaps on an application or when first meeting someone. It is also my least favorite personal question and has always made me squirm. I can't leave this space empty... What, you want me to stretch the truth? Hmm, well, I play golf... Read more...

June 20, 2005

The HD Debacle

by David Trammell - 11:06 pm PDT

How much will lack of HD really hurt Nintendo, and what can they do about it?

Note: a lexicon of technical terms can be found at the bottom of this article.

According to recent statements by Nintendo officials, Revolution will apparently not feature HD support. There are still many questions such as whether or not this also excludes 480p. However, there’s little doubt... Read more...

May 26, 2005

Dressing the Part

by Bonnie Ruberg - 6:53 pm PDT

Inspired by Sony’s “The Quest for Antonia” model search, Bonnie asks what it means when real women fashion themselves after on-screen characters.

In the gaming world, real women aren’t easy to come by. Game developers spend a lot of time and energy making sure their female characters appear realistic, endowing them with the looks and the “physics” of true-to-life beauties. So what happens when that dynamic gets flipped on its head, when real women start trying to look like video game characters?

Read more...

May 17, 2005

Nintendo Can't Win For Losing

by Rick Powers - 6:44 pm PDT

Nintendo’s press conference manages to both stun fans and under-deliver at the same time, despite showing off not one, but two new hardware devices.

Nintendo’s had a rough few years. It’s never quite managed to live up to the expectations that its most rabid fans have for the company that brought video games back from the brink of extinction. When the biggest game Nintendo unveils during a press conference is a Pac Man “connectivity” title, you know the company is struggling to inspire its legions of followers.

Read more...

April 11, 2005

Hotties for Rent

by Bonnie Ruberg - 3:03 pm PDT

Booth babes: What’s not to like? One girl gamer attempts to tackle the issues without spoiling the party...

Alright, you’re almost there. She can see you coming and she’s smiling. Suck up that bead of drool, wipe the sweat off your forehead, and try to take some deep breaths. Ready? Now your buddy’s got the camera poised and she’s putting her arm around your waist. Do you think she can tell... Read more...

March 19, 2005

What a Girl Wants

by Bonnie Ruberg - 1:19 pm PST

Is it the puzzles? Is it the collectibles? Is it the chance to watch your Sim take a shower? Just what makes a game attractive to girls?

Discuss it in Talkback!

I have a friend who’s addicted to The Sims. Okay, that’s a lie. I have multiple friends who are addicted to The Sims. They spend hours at their computers, or at their respective consoles, totally hooked. Even after months or years of addiction, they’re still... Read more...

March 3, 2005

Can't Touch This

by Jonathan Metts - 10:18 pm PST

Jonny takes a look at the role of touch-sensitive input in DS games and how the feature can be used effectively in game design.

Four months into the life of the Nintendo DS, and one month before the launch of the competing PSP system from Sony, I’m going to go out on a limb here: touch input sucks for video games. Or at the very least, it’s being poorly utilized in the first generation of Nintendo DS games, and we’ve... Read more...

March 2, 2005

The Lost Innovations

by Rick Powers - 9:28 pm PST

What aspects of gaming are still open to innovation by developers? Rick explores the possibilities ...

It’s becoming well-known in the industry that we are quickly approaching a level of graphics fidelity that will put us into a negative trend which Masahiro Mori called the “uncanny valley”, a level of detail where humans look real enough that we are disturbed by the sight of them. We’ve seen... Read more...

February 26, 2005

Choose Your Weapons

by Jon Lindemann - 10:48 pm PST

The launch of the PSP draws ever closer. Jon examines what Nintendo can do with its DS to steal Sony’s thunder in March.

I went to lunch with my friend Jason the other day. He’s a 30-year-old computer programmer, a photography buff, and a gadget fiend. But he's not a gamer; he's done some PC gaming in his time, but consoles have never been his cup of tea. So imagine my surprise when he turned to me and asked if... Read more...

February 23, 2005

With Great Power ...

by David Trammell - 9:22 am PST

What is the relationship between console horsepower and gameplay innovation? David explores the topic from a historical perspective.

In just three months Nintendo is going to reveal the first significant details concerning its next console to the world. The company has suggested that the new platform is going to feature innovations that will revolutionize the industry (likely significant additions or changes to what we currently... Read more...

February 10, 2005

Games for Girls

by Bonnie Ruberg - 3:46 pm PST

Girl games: They’re pink, they sparkle, they teach you to match outfits. Where these titles, and the girl games industry, went wrong.

Discuss it in Talkback!

You’ve seen them in the stores. You’ve walked the aisles of your favorite gaming retailer and sighed, wondering, Why are these here? You’ve skimmed the wall of GBA boxes, searching for a new release, and noticed their brightly-colored presence among the normal,... Read more...

January 25, 2005

Let's Click Again

by David Trammell - 6:32 am PST

Whatever happened to the shoulder button click in the GameCube controller? When's the last time a new game was released that actually uses it?

Three and a half years ago (or about half a year before the GameCube's North American release) I wrote The Click!. It was almost entirely speculation on the topic of what developers might do with the newly introduced click function in the GameCube controller's shoulder buttons. At E3 2001 just one... Read more...

January 20, 2005

Role-Models or Ubisoft Dolls?

by Bonnie Ruberg - 10:00 pm PST

Are the Frag Dolls, a new clan of hot, Ubisoft-sponsored girl gamers, helping the girl gamer image, or are they just PR stunt play-things?

Discuss it in Talkback!

Ever heard of the Frag Dolls? They’re a relatively new clan of seven, hot girl gamers set up and funded by the publisher, developer, distributor Ubisoft. If you stick to Nintendo news, you may have missed them; it seems they play exclusively on Xbox. But GameCube fans beware: these girls are raising issues bigger than console loyalty.

Read more...

January 13, 2005

Free NOA!

by Jonathan Metts - 1:59 pm PST

It’s time to let Nintendo of America do what it needs to do to win back market share.

When Minoru Arakawa and a few associates founded Nintendo of America in the early 1980s, it was envisioned as a distribution channel for the parent company’s arcade games. Two decades later, Nintendo Co. Ltd. in Japan still treats NOA like a distribution channel. It was smart business for a while;... Read more...

January 12, 2005

Playing By Party Lines

by Bonnie Ruberg - 10:03 pm PST

Should girl gamers and female characters stick together in party games?

When it comes to party games, should girls gamers play with female characters? It may not be the most important girl gamer decision you face all day, but it’s one of those little choices you can make on the road to earning gaming respect.

Let’s consider the facts. Girl gamers are a rare... Read more...

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