Friday, September 23, 2016

Weekly Link Round Up

It's been a long time coming...the Weekly Link Round Up! A concoction of the best, worst, and silliest gaming news on the internet. Here's what we've got this week:

- The Washington Post would like to remind you that video games are bad. Even the good ones! Amazing games could be bad for America! If that statement confuses you, well it confused me too. According to a new economic study by the University of Chicago and University of Rochester, more younger men are not going to work to stay home and play games because it provides an instant satisfaction/reward that one doesn't get at a 9 to 5 job. But it's not just the cell phone games - it's the cool Triple A titles that men want to play and that's what keeps them hooked!

I really don't know how to respond to the article. It sounds like a legitimate study, but the conclusions drawn seem silly? I don't think it's an issue of men wanting to stay at home and play games all day in their parent's home because they want to. The lack of jobs for 16-32 year olds has dropped drastically over the past decade and it's incredibly difficult to find work. Every adult, male and female, knows that you need money to live in this world. And staying at home gaming is not a way to make money. The research claims that the decision to stay at home is unconscious, but I'd say they need to review the information. The article doesn't touch on the state of the current job market at all, and that should be factored into the conclusions.

- By the way, apparently video games are better the second time you play them. That's according to a TechSpot opinion piece. While replay value could be argued, games like Mass Effect can achieve more enjoyment by having every-changing plot points. Where as Final Fantasy and God of War III, one time through is plenty.

- Business Insider takes a quick peak into the world of gaming for deaf gamers. In that subtitles, and sometimes the lack of them, are still an issue in 2016. Twitch channel Deaf Gamers TV have taken developers to task about the poor quality of subtitles. In many cases, subtitles will sit on top of in-game text (such as posters), or the content doesn't match the dialogue being spoken. It's one thing if it were live television where people are typing the closed-caption as it happens. For a game, not having proper subtitles is silly. I use subtitles all the time since action games can sometimes cover up dialogue with ambient noises that you miss story points. RPG's as well, but mostly because they can be so in-depth that you need that text to keep up with the plot. Better quality subtitles in games: wee need them.

- To balance out the thoughtful article, here's another one from Business Insider with a list of 9 games that deserve remakes. Why am I linking this? Golden Eye 007 for the N64 was listed. It received a remake for the Nintendo Wii a few years ago, which was not mentioned in the article. Whoops.

- The Women In Games International and the Girl Scouts of America are reaffirming their relationship to provide more STEM activities to their groups by partnering with Sony Santa Monica. The new venture will include a crash-course workshop for Girl Scouts in game design. Wish they had this stuff when I was a kid!

- Apparently Vivendi is trying to take over Ubisoft. Yeah. I was surprised to read that headline as well. Ubisoft has been around for 30 years, but has been kind of quiet lately as they fend off a buyout from Vivendi. You'd think it'd be as simple as "no, we don't want to be owned by you," but it's not. When multiple people own shares of your company, you have to try and win over the majority of the shareholders to ensure the buyout doesn't happen. It's stupidly complicated. CEO Yves Guillemot talks about the implications of the buyout to GameSpot, and what it would mean to their creative teams, as well as the bottom line for gamers.

The YouTube Gaming app had a quick update this week to improve the chat experience by making it streamlined. Instead of weird sideways scrolling, the chat bar is in a drop-down menu that allows you to tap and type. YouTube is steadily improving their gaming channels to try and take on the Twitch crowd.

- And finally, we knew this would happen: virtual reality roller coasters! Six Flags in Vallejo, California unveiled a new coaster called 'Rage of the Gargoyles.' You do get to ride the coaster, while a VR unit plays an animated sequence in front of your eyes. So it's not you standing in a square, thinking you're on a roller coaster. VR. It's a thing!

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