Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Lists. Oh The Lists!

Ah lists. I like lists. Don't you like them? Sometimes they are astute and insightful. Other times they rile up the nerds and it can be funny to read the comment fall-out. And on some occasions they can be very stupid. But still enjoyable.

For some reason this month is "list happy" with a number of gaming and news websites. Even I made one just the other day. Maybe it's the end-of-Summer blues kicking in? I'm not sure. I thought it would be fun to round up some of my favorites for us to dissect and laugh about.

- WhatCulture is going to get it's own category because it seems like all they post are lists. Lists. Lists. And more lists

This one has to be my favorite from WhatCulture based on the title alone: The 20 Severely Underrated 90's Games You Forgot You Loved. Wow. First, who came up with that article lead? They need a Pulitzer. Second, they list Xenogears. I'm not saying this is a great list. In fact many of the games mentioned don't deserve to exist in our minds. Ever. Such as Blood, a horrible Doom rip-off (and considering that they used the same game engine, no one should be surprised that the screencaps look like a Doom clone). But Xenogears...this list can be slightly forgiven for that mention.

Next: 8 Hugely Controversial Video Game Endings That Divided The Fans. Okay, I really want to know who comes up with their article titles. Genius!

But more importantly, the writer for this particular list makes a clear point that this isn't about the games with crappy closing chapters. Like Mass Effect 3. These are the games that "couldn't stick their landings." The problem is that in using ME3 as an example and then turning around and making it number 6 on the list completely blows apart any validity they may have had. Of course this is WhatCulture so, should anyone be surprised at their inability to maintain their own standards?

- Onto Business Insider, with 9 Ways to Boost Your Intelligence by Playing Video Games. The title is misleading. The writer isn't giving you means/ways/how-to's to help improve your brain skills. Rather, it's a list of current research-able facts about how playing games will boost intelligence. If you play video games, expect a 25% increased reaction time compared to others, stronger memory skills as you age, and better eyesight. Again these aren't ways to boost your brain. They are happy side-effects of being a gamer.

- PC Magazine has 7 Seriously Impressive Video Game Collections. Seriously. Some of these range from personal collections of Nintendo products to vintage arcade bars with hundreds of machines. It's cool. Maybe not as impressive as some of the collections I've seen at gaming expos, but cool.

- CBS Minnesota jumped into the listing mess and created their own with the Top 5 Worst Athlete-Endorsed Games. Given how abundant sports games are, and how many sports teams are on covers and in the games themselves, this was probably a butt to pick only 5. To their credit, the CBS station really did pick some of the worse sports games out there. Michael Phelps: Push the Limit, for example. Not just an XBox 360 swimming game. But a Kinnect Swimming game. Take all the joy of being in the pool and bring it indoors, they said. Bad game it be. CBS Minnesota, good job. You have made a worthy list.

- Pixelkin, a website focused on news, reviews, and gaming content geared towards parents of gamers, created a list on the 8 Ways to Justify Letting Your Kids Play Video Games. I guess this is meant to be used as a response to those parents who question how you're raising your kids when they play video games after school? I'm not sure. Especially when point number 1 is "all kids play video games." That's not really justifying gaming to anyone. You're telling kids to not be individuals. Go with the crowd. Let them dictate your habits. Yeah...not good. Also point 7 about being a professional gamer and making millions of dollars is not a good justification. It's incredibly difficult to reach that level of stardom, and requires an endless amount of work. It's not fun all the time, I can promise you that. While it tries to pick it up with the other points about games improving sociability and reducing stress, the rest of the list falls flat.

- Man Cave, a CBS radio show, posted a list of 5 Ridiculously Sexy Video Game Outfits. The reason that I'm sharing this is because it includes men and women. And not the men that I expected. I have to give a thumbs up to this list for not only breaking a stereotype around the phrase "Man Cave" (by having a fair and reasonable discussion on how dumb some sexy outfits are in video games), but by giving a list that I didn't expect. Freekin' Varric from Dragon Age:Inquisition is on there, and for a reasonable argument. As well as "Cid" from the upcoming Final Fantasy XV in a mechanic outfit that would never be taken seriously. Bravo on this list.

- DailyFinance gets a win on the "dumb list" award with 3 Things to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Video Game Console. I'll save you all a click. The list is: Will it be cheaper if I wait? Do you really need it? And are there other ways to get your game on? Stupid list is stupid. I think the writer was looking for a quick paycheck on this one.

- From the industry with Gamasutra, here are 5 Reasons to Trademark Your Video Game Today. Actually this is a good read for anyone who's interested in developing their own game or mobile app. Look into it.

- The Escapist has a "list" that's more of a "oh this is cool!" It's 8 Classic Video Games Recreated in LEGO. From Shadow of the Colossus to Castlevania, these are neat to look at. I'm sure we'll see more of these types of creations in the LEGO World game as it nears its release date.

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