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Archive for "Games"

October 23, 2008

New How-to: Stream Media to Your Xbox 360

Green Pixels has posted what is essentially Part Two of a three-part series on streaming media from a PC to a game console. This week’s victim: the 360. Have yourself a look, maybe you’ll learn something!

October 16, 2008

New How-to: Stream Media to Your PS3

Oh hey, Green Pixels has just put up my how-to on streaming media from a PC to a PS3. It’s a surprisingly simple process; see if you don’t agree. Questions? Comments? Leave them in the coments over at GP.

October 10, 2008

New Feature: 10 Crucial Rock Band Downloads

Oh lookie, Green Pixels has just put up my 10 Crucial Rock Band Downloads feature. This was one of those where you look around in the middle of doing the research and think, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this.”

Let’s fight about my choices. But over there, not here.

October 1, 2008

New Review: Grand Theft Auto IV

Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

My GTA4 review is now live over at Green Pixels. Spoiler alert: It’s really good. Oh, you don’t think so? Well, why don’t you drop a note in the review’s comments to that effect.

March 20, 2007

More of the Ol’ Ultraviolence

[originally published in The Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Issue #105, June 2006]

Last month I touched on the enormous (and heated, and probably eternal) debate about the significance of violence in videogames. It’s not an easy argument to resolve; on one side you have gamers and game makers defending their hobbies and livelihoods, if not their very identities. On the other are a group of concerned citizens honestly believing — however erroneously — that they are protecting the innocent from nefarious forces.

You know what I do for a living, so you can probably guess which side I come down on. I know — from longtime, extensive, personal experience — that videogames do not turn otherwise conscientious, reasonably well-adjusted individuals into slavering, murderous social deviants. It just doesn’t happen. If it did, you and I and just about everyone we know would be in jail.

Furthermore, we can be reasonably assured that the vast majority of the slavering, murderous social deviants of history had very little exposure to videogames. Linear time’s a bitch, baby.

So why all the hubbub?

Continue reading “More of the Ol’ Ultraviolence” »

April 12, 2006

The Real and the Semi-Real

“I weep for the future.” –Ferris Beuller’s Day Off

I’ve been following this thread over at the GAF about a guild who crashed a virtual funeral in World of Warcraft, and it makes me sad. Basically, what happened is this: A member of a WOW guild suffered a stroke in real life and died. Her guildmates, knowing her only through the game, but nevertheless wanting to offer some remembrance for one of their own, decided to hold a memorial service in the game. A rival guild decided that would be a great time to show up and kill everyone. Hilarity ensued.

Now, is it sort of creepy and vaguely sad that a group of people elected to hold a virtual funeral? I’d say so. It lends a depressing weight to the stereotype of basement-dwelling gamers who can’t function in the real world. In my opinion, it trivializes the real loss that this person’s real-life loved ones feel. But saying gamers aren’t the most socially adept subculture isn’t going to surprise anyone, and the fact is, these people did have a relationship with the deceased, however unorthodox. You can’t criticize someone for feeling grief simply because they haven’t met the deceased in the physical world. You can criticize their method of paying their respects, but I don’t see how you could criticize their right to do so, or the validity of their desire to do so.

And so this rival guild storms in, in a very well-planned strike (and yes, it’s pretty comical if you don’t think about it too hard), sending virtual mourners scurrying and leaving a trail of virtual bodies in their wake. Were they within their rights as WOW players to choose this moment to strike against a rival guild? Oh, absolutely.

But “within your rights” does not equal “right.”

Continue reading “The Real and the Semi-Real” »