Thursday, March 17, 2016

Weekly Link Round Up

Praise be to the week that is almost over! It's time for another Weekly Link Round Up. Rejoice!

- The New York Times would like to remind everyone that video games are not just about violence and guns. Who knew? The article is part review of Firewatch, the Steam darling that has taken over the minds of gaming critics over the past month, and a brief glimpse at some of the other thoughtful games over the past year. Linking because it's nice to see larger publications taking notice of games that are not Triple A titles or brewing with media controversy. There is also another piece on the Times about games where there are no positive or happy outcome. Games for change, essentially.

- has a list of how video games can teach people to be better parents. Interesting concept...let's take a look! Some of these may seem obvious, but put into a parental perspective where most see games as a waste of time, they are quite enlightening. Such as patience (you need so much in video games, particularly with the likes of Metal Gear Solid where you have to wait before you can sneak), perseverance (don't give up - your kid will learn eventually just like you did in Golden Eye 64), trial and error, and teamwork. But there are also some poignant lessons on this list that can be taken to heart, such as learning that being a show-off or the lead act is overrated. So. True. You and your kids do not need to be the star to have a wonderful life. It can be just as cool to be the sidekick and be happy (see Luigi). And imagination is a powerful tool in not only solving problems within games, but in daily life. Studies prove time and time again that imagination can help boost a child's learning prowess. It's an alternative perspective to using games in daily life; always a thumbs up in my book.

- Business Insider would like to remind you why it sucks to work in the gaming industry. Mostly due to long hours and unpaid overtime, that everyone seems to be okay with. Because hey! You got to work on a video game. 38% of people report going unpaid for extra hours during "crunch time" at the last phase of game development. And a lot of people overlook it because that's just how the industry is. Those who want to make games have such a passion for it that they are okay with being unpaid for a product to be finished. Which can be a real damper on one's mental and physical health over time.

- Curious about which best selling video games were made in Scotland? Well even if you're not, the Scotsman compiled a list of the top games made from their country. Here's the problem...some of those games were not developed in Scotland. The writer and the editor should have fact-checked. Minecraft, for example, was developed in Sweden. Now post release, it's very possible that a studio or two in Scotland helped with additional updates, but the home to Minecraft is Mojang in Sweden. Same thing with Grand Theft Auto. Not developed in Scotland. However, Rockstar has a studio in Scotland called Rockstar North. They took over the series starting with GTA3, but they are not the founders of the game. Fact checking is important, kids!

- This is another one of those "no duh" stories, but if you have any interest in Uncharted 4, you'll want to visit the page for the behind the scenes development video with the updated Nathan Drake. The "um...yeah" portion of the article is that game characters are getting older as series age and so do the developers.

I'll let that wave of shock wash over you for a moment.

Aside from the Captain Obvious moment, the video is pretty nifty with a better look at what to expect in the upcoming game. If you ignore all of the commentary, that is.

- Remember way, way back when Lindsey Lohan attempted to sue Take Two Interactive for using her likeness in GTA5? Not the actress character that is eluding the paparazzi, but the woman in the bikini on the cover, taking a selfie on the beach with a peace sign. Well New York Supreme Court Judge Joan Kenney gave a win to Lohan that the actresses claims are applicable. She's been given an extension to pursue the case further and Take Two's request to dismiss the complaint have been overruled. Lohan's argument was fairly loose to begin with since she wasn't able to provide evidence that the bikini-clad image is her. It's still surprising that she would choose to argue against that instead of the character in the game that is a parody of her. Lohan will have a tough battle ahead if she wants to take this further, as she's had poor luck with legal cases in the past, and Take Two, as well as other developers, have won cases on a similar bases.

- Finally, GDC Award's show hosted a fantastic tribute to Iwata with a 3 minute video. The illustrations are from David Hellman, the developer behind Braid. It's lovely and heart touching on a level I can not describe. Be sure to have tissues ready for this one.


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