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  • GameSpy: Loss of Death: Suicide in Videogames - Page 4
    is a foundation of one s participation and advancement in the sport Every skateboard video has a slam section which shows the effort that went into getting that one moment of art There was a lot of work and a lot of pain that went into capturing that trick Cuz says It was perfectly aligned We re a videogame A game then is a proving ground for the body The lasting moments are the ones where your reflexes keep you afloat in the world It could mean grinding a 20 foot rail rocket jumping over the heads of opponents or hopping on turtle shells Everything else is unsightly a broken leg a lowered ranking a continue prompt But it s the possibility of failure that underpins gameplay According to Cuz the rationale behind making an entire sub game of bailing with its own value system built on self directed hurt was to give the player total control of his body at all times a skateboarding and sports ideal He likens players who hone their bailing skills in Hall of Meat to professional skater Danny Way who also appears in the game He s bionic He stays awake for his own knee surgery He doesn t get put under anymore because he wants to see what they re doing to his knee In the last X Games MegaRamp contest one ankle was broken So he switched broke his shoulder and still won That level to get back up the year before he ended up leaving in a wheelchair after he got second place It s part and parcel of the culture At a certain level skateboarding becomes a conscious exploration and expansion of the body s limits The body is real and able so long as you can still affect it That s what games from Persona 3 to Karoshi to Quake to Skate suggest about your avatar when they give you the power to hurt it If You Build It If dying is one way we can fundamentally connect with our characters what about our self destructive tendencies in games that look beyond the individual Take constructive games like The Sims and SimCity where you are tasked with building and nurturing systems that interact rather than maneuvering and protecting a single body SimCity offers mayors the option to set fire to cities they have spent weeks or months building start earthquakes summon tornadoes and more And players have been trying to kill their Sims for years trapping them in burning houses or swimming pools with no ladder or a world without food The pleasure taken in killing one s own digital projections seems little more than sadistic Maybe committing suicide in a game isn t really that complicated It is of course an act experienced vicariously through the machine an outlet for human darkness Sometimes players want to explore the feeling of acting wrongly in a safe and harmless way through a videogame says Charles London creative director at EA

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/108/1081824p4.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Other People's Stories: An Examination of Gaming's Literary Adaptations - Page 2
    direction Though inspired by Roadside Picnic a celebrated 1970s science fiction tale by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky Oleg Yarovsky and his colleagues at GSC Gameworld decided to set their game in a more immediate world with a terror they were more familiar with It is S T A L K E R that most closely approximates Knight s ideal of an original take on another author s idea We deliberately wanted to keep out of any extraterrestrial involvement into the Zone as the book stipulates in favor of the grim reality of Chernobyl which we simply find more interesting and in the long run more scary The invisible radiation threat ruins of Soviet empire plentiful going to Chernobyl is spooky says Yarovsky Due to facts and evidence of the 1986 accident largely concealed by the USSR government we could build our own conspiracy theories about experiments on psychotropic weapons and such in the game s story We had wanted to make a game set in Chernobyl but it was only with S T A L K E R that we felt it was the right concept S T A L K E R creepy So why bother with S T A L K E R at all Why not just create a new Chernobyl themed shooter What we liked about the book and movie was the idea of stalkerism a loner scavenging the danger zone that risks his life for cash and this is what makes the story and the game alike The new S T A L K E R world has been successful enough to launch its own series of novels not yet available in English Like EA s Dante s Inferno S T A L K E R changes the time and plot of the story but clings to what is seen as a common element in the parallel worlds S T A L K E R is clearly more in line with what we see as an original take on another story however Where the Strugatsky brothers novella posited a world devastated by alien interference GSC reminds us that the world can be devastated by human means and that some parts of the world were only minutes away from a very bleak future Stalkerism is survivalism a theme embraced by games like Fallout another admitted inspiration for S T A L K E R This isn t turning Pride and Prejudice into a zombie novel it s turning Emma into Clueless a new setting that touches many of the same important themes Some lines won t be crossed for reasons of integrity and this is the difference between inspiration and adaptation Though some purists might blanch at the idea of a topless Beatrice Knight emphasizes that he had to insist that other hellish mythologies not contaminate what was going on in Dante s world You won t find infernal legions akin to those in Milton s Paradise Lost an inspiration for last year s indie game

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/107/1074192p2.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Preservation of Fun: New York's Videogame Museum - Page 2
    cartridges will one day cease to work corroded from battery acid and moisture and unfortunately blowing on that old Nintendo cartridge actually speeds this process along Old stuff rules So far we ve been lucky Almost everything we ve gotten has worked says Wheeler But the specter of bit rot still hovers over NCHEG When you consider that scientists best estimates suggest floppy disks may last only 10 30 years and that the thousands of games published on floppies in the 1980s are already at least 21 years old you can begin to see the urgency of the situation Equally daunting is the challenge of obsolescence Even if a floppy disk could somehow be preserved for hundreds of years it might as well be a stone tablet of Indus Valley script since with today s newest hardware the floppy has become an all but unreadable media Likewise with punch cards or cassette tapes these once ubiquitous storage solutions have been rendered obsolete by the ever accelerating evolution of technology We need native speakers says Dyson referring to the hardware capable of reading obsolete media It s not enough to just have the game we need Rosetta stones equipment able to translate and decipher these older materials But consoles and computers are themselves susceptible to bit rot and furthermore even the hardware components are quickly vanishing For example the bulky CRT monitor the kind found in arcade game cabinets is nearly extinct thanks to the transition to LCD screens Few manufacturers produce CRTs anymore and the number shrinks daily Slightly less old stuff also rules Although the NCHEG curators utilize several sources who can custom fabricate parts if a component breaks the only recourse in many cases is to find an identical machine and swap out the parts Oftentimes the best

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/106/1064646p2.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: The Preservation of Fun: New York's Videogame Museum - Page 3
    jumping into those games says Dyson It s our job to recreate that magic Left Nintendo s greatest failure Right Quite the opposite History Informs the Future Given the obstacles inherent to game preservation the list of NCHEG s future plans is long and urgent a compilation of must do s before time runs out For starters the Institute of Library and Museum Services recently awarded NCHEG s curators a grant to sort through their archives and playtest every game in the collection We ve had plenty of college students volunteer to help says Wheeler They also plan to expand their online presence particularly the online catalogue which already hosts thousands of artifacts They re even dabbling in social media outlets such as the CHEGheads blog and a Facebook page For scholarly or academic visitors NCHEG plans to flesh out its already expansive online catalogue of games with more screenshots and gameplay videos And it s continuing to expand and add to the Game Lab a storage facility and laboratory where visiting researchers can test out vintage videogames on their native consoles We want to be the go to resource You want to learn about the history of electronic games Whether it s online or in person you go to NCHEG says Dyson And that s to say nothing of the exhibits As of this writing the center s first temporary exhibit Videotopia a collection of over 200 fully restored and playable vintage arcade cabinets is closed but NCHEG is already hard at work on its first permanent installation on the history of videogames Tentatively scheduled to open in the summer of 2010 the exhibit will cover 2 700 square feet exploring the impact electronic games have had on our lives and offering visitors a chance to play many titles

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/106/1064646p3.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: God's PR Problem: The Role of Religion in Videogames - Page 2
    it loosely or abstracted or metaphorically Some folks get a little closer to the third rail But it s always there That third rail turns out to be very hard to touch Sure Fable II features good and bad churches but they re largely stereotypes played for comic effect Games as old and revered as the Gabriel Knight series were set into religious contexts and organized churches are a common trope of many Japanese RPGs But is there enough of a payoff for a designer to really dig deep into the issues of belief Yes and no according to 2K Boston s Creative Director Ken Levine designer of BioShock and Thief The Dark Project two games which tackled the nature of belief head on I think it s very tough to find a right and a wrong choice in life so I tend to be drawn to shades of gray Levine says In BioShock protagonist Andrew Ryan builds a city based on his belief system one that denies God and worships man In Ryan s underwater city of Rapture the number one item smuggled from the surface seems to be bibles which litter the poorer districts of the city like People Magazine in a dentist s office As things get worse people tend to go even further into their belief systems rather than question them Levine remarks I think that s interesting Love thyself In Thief The Dark Project a game on which Levine served primarily as the story designer he set a traditional Christian like church the Hammerites against a church based around a living breathing prophet the Trickster With an organized religion there s the question what actually happened Virgin birth or not Resurrection or not But when you have an actual god walking around it s harder to define canon he just is It was an interesting set of forces to put against each other the primal force and the organized force But are games the right place for these explorations Lionhead s Molyneux certainly thinks so For me faith is a real and tangible thing he explains I think like any form of entertainment or any form of fiction games can drive towards faith If people walk away from the game and think more deeply about things and faith is one of those things that would be brilliant Levine s a bit more prosaic about it despite his love of a good moral conflict I m just trying to tell a good story he confesses Not every game has to be a Heideggerian exploration of self I just like to beat up monsters or even be the monster he says And sure sometimes I like to do other stuff But if I m not making a game you re going to have fun playing I m not sure why I d be making that game Hey that s cool too Wizards Wyatt has an answer too I think fantasy is good for us he suggests It

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/105/1059455p2.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: All in a Day's Work for Felicia Day - Page 1
    since the show is based on MMOs and the Xbox doesn t really have any MMOs I was a little nervous But when we launched the show on Xbox Live we saw millions of new viewers It was huge more than even I had estimated Xbox Live is kind of a walled garden but they have the power to curate in a way for scripted content that nobody else can And when we did the deal to put The Guild on Netflix Streaming again I didn t think anything of it But a huge number of people found the show through Netflix and continue to find the show there They don t ever experience it as a web series either They think The Guild is a movie All these outlets are definitely breaking the traditional model for content And we re getting as many views as a cable show for sure Lara Crigger And that s only counting the webisodes You ve now got the music videos and The Guild comic too Felicia Day The comic definitely changed the way I told the story It s definitely less comedic more character oriented We also get to see the game which we don t see in the show We couldn t create our own game of course it s too expensive and we didn t want to use a specific game unless we had a single sponsor every single season We wouldn t want to be locked into one game and then say Hey we gotta change the game now Lara Crigger Or have the game go out of business Felicia Day Sure Those are all things we thought of early on with our production but nobody had the money to give us something that would cover our costs The Guild comic book written by Felicia Day and Jim Rugg Lara Crigger Now that you do have sponsors and more monetary flexibility will we see episodes grow longer Felicia Day I ve found that six or seven minutes are better for the layered story that I want to tell Also our audience is used to that I don t know if you could launch a show now with episodes that long But it also depends on how people experience the show whether it s on their Zune or iPod versus on their web browser versus on their Xbox where it s literally like you re watching a TV show I think people tend to tolerate longer lengths the bigger the picture Lara Crigger You re known for your active web presence Between your blog your Twitter account your Facebook page and so on how much of your day to day work goes into community building Felicia Day It s like a full time job but it s an investment in an area I feel passionate about Because I really do feel like what we re doing is a better way of consuming entertainment rather than being force fed the same kinds

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/111/1113639p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: BioWare's Doctors Are In: An Interview with Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk - Page 1
    they re all making different kinds of RPGs and MMOs different kinds of games that deliver emotionally engaging gameplay I guess we still try and finish every game that our group ships We have a great group creative officer there s a group marketing officer group operations officer there s GMs at every location as well and we try to work together as a team to make sure that everything we ship meets the BioWare standard of quality and delivers really good value to the fans There are a lot more products going on so every studio actually has multiple things going on Austin is really focused on Star Wars The Old Republic the other studios are contributing to that too but the other studios have a lot of projects going on There s the Dragon Age universe Mass Effect Mythic is working on Dark Age of Camelot of course and Ultima Online Warhammer Online Plus some brand new stuff that we haven t announced yet Montreal is doing some new stuff I guess it s just more But because we have great teams it s really very similar to what we ve done before We delegate a lot of stuff to them and they re great people who work really hard and they re passionate about great quality GameSpy Can you still be counted on to submit the most bug reports Dr Greg Zeschuk We re not in that realm anymore Dr Ray Muzyka We still finish the games multiple times and we submit a lot of bugs but the days when we would submit a double digit percentage of the bugs for something for me that was way back in the Baldur s Gate days I think Baldur s Gate was the only one where I probably had 11 or 12 percent of the total bug database But I was producer on that so I was really involved in that game Since then I mean we now submit hundreds and hundreds of bugs each but there s thousands and thousands of bugs that are submitted by our great team we have great QA everybody in the whole group Dr Greg Zeschuk It s not just bugs though It s a higher level of feedback I know we both gravitate more towards describing Because we have goals for all the experiences and we sit down with the teams and trust them to pursue the goals and follow them Dr Ray Muzyka And test the games in detail Dr Greg Zeschuk Yeah So what we re really involved in is actually in a sense a very high level play test The benefit we also bring is we re not super close to it We re not working on any one project every day because there are so many things that we re involved in There are all these gaps and so when we re seeing things in the games it s always quite fresh so we can lend a pretty

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/107/1077742p1.html (2016-02-16)
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  • GameSpy: Peter Molyneux on Religion in Games - Page 1
    emotional change in state how fragile that belief structure is I think that s a very interesting thing to explore especially when you re trying to make a player feel powerful but responsible In Fable III the whole premise is really that you are going to overthrow this tyrannical ruler and you are going to become king And you have to get people to believe in you and follow you I m not saying that s religion but there s that same need for belief and that same need to be believed in That s my fascination with it There is a political correctness that has crept into entertainment where we are hypersensitive about offending people and about saying the wrong thing There s a reservation in today s world about offending anybody Of course especially with the war on terror the Taliban everything to do with the Middle East It makes everyone hypersensitive While the world is in this state and who knows if it s a transient state only a very brave person who would go out there and specifically do something that has religious overtones or is in any way judgmental You think about Monty Python they were doing some quite hard stuff they hammered religion A lot of their irreverence was specifically about the formal nature of religion But in today s world that s unthinkable really GameSpy In Fable II religion is present primarily through the Temple of Light and its foil the Temple of Shadows As is often the case the world presents both religions as viable in that they can be seen to be acting on the world in a way we don t experience in our day to day lives out here on the other side of the screen At the end of the quest lines players can quite literally purchase the church they ve sided with Is there intentional commentary here Peter Molyneux What we tried to do was archetype the ridiculous nature of the Temple of Shadows most of the humor in the game was in there You had to do some nasty things but the reference point was to imagine you re joining a secret society in Victorian times and what ridiculous initiation ceremony would you go through These secret societies in England existed 200 years ago and some still exist today and some of them were just ridiculous And the Temple of Light was designed to be a little more serious and a little more stuffy But we were really thinking about the society in the game it wasn t a commentary GameSpy Games are obviously capable of filling us with joy fear amazement anxiety perhaps even love Do you think a videogame is capable of driving people toward or away from faith Peter Molyneux For me faith is a real and tangible thing Belief and faith are forces in society as much as they have ever been Like any form of entertainment or any form of fiction

    Original URL path: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/106/1066775p1.html (2016-02-16)
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