Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekly Link Round-Up

We're starting the weekly link round-up early due to the number of unusual stories that have appeared on my feed. Maybe it's a Memorial Day thing where everyone wanted to post their stuff asap so they could take the rest of the day off?

Wired has an interesting article about sex games. They're designed to make you feel weird. That's the point. They dive into the world of independent sex games. Nina Freeman explores her teenage years with her games, and the awkward realization of what sex is after smashing two Barbie dolls together to figure it all out. Another is Robert Yang's Hurt Me Plenty, which is very BDSM-material. All of this is to get people to think about sex and relationships rationally and in a real-world sense. The things we see in Triple-A titles are flashes of boob, if that. It's not sex but an image to entice the male gaze. So yes, sex games are meant to make you uncomfortable, but that's to get you talking about it in a healthy, natural way.

- TechCrunch wants to talk about subscription services, and how Sony and Microsoft can use it to win video games. But wait, aren't they already doing this? They are. But Tadhg Kelly recommends that for the companies to grow and solidify their audience, they need to cater to their needs. One suggestion is to have tailored subscription services. Start tracking gamer's play habits (as if they're not already doing it), and customize the experience.

If a player is a daily user of XBox Live, then give them discounts and perks that a once a week user may not see. If a gamer is only playing EA products, work with EA to provide a subscription that fits that gamer's needs. I can forsee a big issue with this idea: fairness. Why should Person A get to pay less then Person B if we're using the same stuff? Good in theory, but not feasible. I don't think the current subscription system will go away anytime soon.

- Geniuses at Duke University in conjunction with Microsoft's research center may have found a way to cut down on the bandwidth for gamers on mobile units. Named Kahawai, the idea is similar to "collaborative rendering." A portion of the game's rendering is done via "The Cloud" while the other is handled by the internal processor of the mobile device. Too many games rely on bandwidth to distribute content, and very little utilize the device itself. But Kahawai's system allows it to happen, and cross platforms without worry about compatibility issues. Tests are still underway, but so far they seem quite promising.

- Coconuts (interesting site name, I know) decided to take a trip to Japan and check out some of their strange games, and they are hosting a "weird game night" in Bangkok. So if you're in the area, check it out. Be amazed by Incredible Crisis or Paradious. You'll wonder how such a country was able to create Mario after watching the videos.


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