Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Weekly Link Round Up

We're doing the round up a little earlier this week. There are some interesting and odd articles on the internet today that must be shared and enjoyed by all for shiz and grins!

- Kanye West, gay fish. Before you close this tab, this is really flippin' funny. The "rapper" who claims that he's in debt, is so "poor" right now that he has to use The Pirate Bay to get his "musical inspiration." The dummy posted a photo to his Twitter account as he surfed YouTube and...what's that in the background? A tab to The Pirate Bay? But wait! Aren't you trying to sue Pirate Bay, Kanye? What gives? Are you a customer or a soon-to-be annoyance in their system. This is really funny in the life that is Kanye West, gay fish - even Deadmau is calling him out on his dumbness. Kanye. Go home. You're drunk.

- The Verge has an article up that video games in 2016 would not be recognizable to someone in 2006. Um...duh? It's more then just the visual designs (which have grown leaps and bounds over the years) but how we consume gaming content; moving from a disc and cartridge system to digital downloads. Stories are becoming more varied and diverse, with indie games taking the helm on creativity. Mobile games weren't on the radar until 2009ish when Angry Birds took over everything. And the way developers release games has changed too - a number providing incomplete products with promises to fix them later under the guise of DLC. Okay that was a cheap shot, but it's kind of true these days. The Verge article does get more into the gritty aspects of how games changed, beyond the visuals.

- Paste Magazine writes about the monotonous sex life of video games as a virtual pick-up artist. And they make some valid points about how basic most of the premises are when it comes to developing relationships in video games. As if the only end goal is to fall into bed with that person. What about having a loving relationship that doesn't involve sex? Those can exist. Somewhere...

- Even as Yahoo steadily declines in the stocks, with plans to sell and simplify the business model, they are looking to one of their strongest areas to help boost their dollars: eSports. Yep. eSports is the one thing on Yahoo that's still generating enough traffic to be of use, and the company announced this week that they are going to expand it to go "vertical" and become a core part of the Yahoo home page. They'll add to the section with commentary, videos, news, game stats, team rosters, the works. The site will also host live competitions and have chat options for fans. It's the Yahoo version of Twitch for eSports and it's nice to see a major search engine providing such perks for gamers.

- Do you play Nevermind? Starting next week, an update to the game will allow you to utilize your web cam and the game will record you as you play. However, this isn't meant as a new streaming feature. Your reactions will now determine how the game plays! If you start freaking out a lot, they'll throw more curve-balls your way and prompt you to try and calm your nerves while you make your way out of the horror maze. How you react will change the game. Lots of YouTube videos will ensue.

- "Adam Ruins Everything," a series on TruTV that is part "Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t" and part "Mythbusters," focuses on looking at the everyday myths that have permeated as 'truth' into our society. On a recent episode, one of the segments focused on video games and the myth that it's a boy's only domain. Though stats show a large segment of gamers are women, it's still a male dominated industry, marketed to boys and men, with games designed for them. The Rebel made a response video in regards to this, centering on this idea that boys are pre-dispositioned to like video games as girls are for dolls. I want to point out now that The Rebel's response came from Lauren Southern, one of their commentators. A woman. Yeah...a woman is saying that girls want to play with dolls because we are biologically told to do so. I was scratching my head at that statement.

Adam wanted to have a healthy debate about the topic, and this is the result.

- Kotaku Australia takes a look at the future of the Australian gaming development industry. While the sales of games have gone up in the country, most of the content is now outsourced and rarely involves Australian developers.

- TV Overmind has a list of the 6 best songs used in gaming commercials. Mad World used for Gears of War makes the list, which made for a memorable commercial. The soft, haunting tune of the music contrasted with the war-heavy game is a stark contrast that seared into our brains. However the rest of the list is just silly. It's Gears of War, Gears of War, and Grand Theft Auto. Come on guys. Come up with more variety then your favorite games!

- I don't know how accurate this story is, and wasn't able to find reliable sources to back this up. So take this with the biggest grain of salt you can muster until there are photos to confirm. A theme park devoted to video games will open this summer in the UAE. Titled Hub Zero, they are working with Capcom, Konami, Square Enix, and Electronic Arts to bring games like Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, and Street Fighter to life in theme-park mode. It'll be a part of an area called City Walk, feature 18 attractions, and include an eSports gaming area.

A few reasons on why I question this: 1 - None of those companies have relationships with each other aside from "they are game developers." Having so many different devs under one roof is sure to scream "problems." I'm positive Square would have a huge issue with the set-up if Capcom or Konami got more space in the park then them, and vice versa. 2 - BioWare, a division of EA, is already working with a theme park in California on a ride. This could be a huge conflict of interest from a legal standpoint. 3 - No photos of the rides nor concept art. We have photos of the finished building which has been there for a while...whoopie!  So don't believe until we see final images of the park in action.

- Finally in E3 news, late yesterday Activision/Blizzard have dropped out of their primo slot and show-floor presence for the event this year. Which is incredibly surprising given that the studios use E3 to market the likes of Call of Duty and the new MOBA Overwatch. CoD will be showcased at the Sony booth and possibly on stage during their press event, but Activision itself will not be there. This comes just a month shy of EA's press release that they will be holding their own event outside of E3 and will not be on the show floor. The reasons why both big publishers have backed out are unclear. Both still affirm their support for E3 and plan to return in the future. But E3 is not the most "consumer friendly" show. It's an event for people in the industry, not customers. And who is the bottom line in the end? Customers. EA and Activision want to focus their attention on bringing events to the people who will spend money on their products. It's a smart marketing decision. Why shell out $500 grand on an E3 booth when you can spend a fraction of that money to rent out a theater, do a press announcement, and then offer online views/content to your fans? Things are certainly changing in how one markets a game...

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