Thursday, February 16, 2017

Weekly Link Round Up

There are some strange things happening on the internet. Guess that means it's time for a Weekly Link Round Up! Hosting some of the best, worst, and weirdest gaming news on the internet...this week. Here is what we have in store:

- Did you know that you could learn chemistry in Minecraft? A University of Texas at Dallas team is researching to see if real world science, when applied to a video game, can be more engaging. Before you answer "well yes, obviously" do remember that video games typically don't follow the laws of physics, thermodynamics, or biology. This isn't an easy task, but the group is up for the challenge. By crafting a tool/mod called "Polycraft World," the team was able to input chemical reactions into the game. Check out the rest of the article for the results!

- Want to get better at games? Tokyo-based company Youdeal is offering home tutoring services for gamers. The GameLesson program is to compliment their game production and public relations services to give customers the full gaming package to compete with on the job market. With games like Street Fighter V and Super Smash Bros. on the docket for $39.53 an hour, hopefully one is able to learn a lot from these tutors. That's a lot of money to spend for an hour of gaming!

- LEGO Worlds is finally launching this March. Yea! The long beta testing period is coming to an end and the next competitor against Minecraft is up for the challenge. If you like anything about LEGO's, then you'll probably enjoy this game. It even carries in the same charm as the super hero games while making it more about the building process. You can still check it out on Steam, and pre-orders for the XBox One version are now live.

- Oh WhatCulture. What have you released now? '10 Storytelling Clichés That Need To Die'? Okay. The list includes 'kill the cutie,' 'choices not meaning anything,' and 'event triggers' where you have to press or hold a button to continue an action. I don't know how those last two have anything to do with storytelling, but sure. Let's roll with this for a second. The list does bring up some good points for "story fouls" that need to be addressed. Such as moving backward to go forward, i.e. a narrative grind where you have to revisit places that you have already cleared in order to progress in the story. If your content is minimal or you have to stretch yourself to make a player go back, you should review your story. Or open world games where side quests distract you from the "importance" of the main narrative. There are some story aspects to games, like movies and television, that could use an update. But as a whole, this list sucks and lacks "storytelling clichés." It focuses more on silly game mechanics.

- The ESA is taking shots at the new U.S. presidential administration, particularly with the reckless immigration policies they are attempting to put into place. ESA president Mike Gallagher wrote a lengthy response to the new laws in the works, and what he hopes will happen for 2017. It includes a strong commitment to gamers to allow them to work socially and politically through gaming, the public showing of E3, and South by Southwest.

- Financial analysts expect the digital gaming market on mobile devices to grow to over $100 billion this year. Not just with downloads, but in spending money on in-game currency and items to continue playing the games. The current leader is developer Supercell (Clash of Clans) ushering in further growth of this sector of gaming. Particularly in China where the market continues to grow as newer, cheaper mobile phones become available. While this won't wipe out console and PC games, it's no wonder Konami wants in on the action.

- Finally on Gamerranx, a list of 10 games that changed graphics forever. Now this isn't necessarily making things prettier. Most of this list focuses on technological changes (the first game to do X) and game mechanics never seen before (destructible environments). So it's not the best list. But it is kind of cool for some quick trivia that you probably didn't know (Star Wars: Dark Forces was the first FPS where you could look up and down).

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