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The one-time Arma II mod turned standalone game DayZ continues to steamroll the world of PC gaming. Developer Dean “Rocket” Hall just announced 1 million sales in 4 weeks – at $29.99 a copy, that gives Dean “Rocket Hall” and his team $29,990,000 (minus Valve’s cut) to play with. Not bad for a game that isn’t even close to finished.

“We’re just blown away with the success of it,” Hall told Polygon in an email. “We obviously knew that there was strong interest in the concept, but weren’t sure whether that interest was just ‘hype’ or whether it would actually translate into real sales. I remember when we finally pushed the button, I had this moment of panic when I wondered if many people would really buy it.”

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A Link to the Violence

Posted: November 18, 2013 in LATEST ARTICLES

I know I have been gone for awhile, basically I had a baby and it has been crazy but I’m back and in Berkeley now ready to break into the bay area video game scene. Without further adieu, here is a formally written article about violence and video games. A new {{STAND BY FOR ASSIMILATION}} will be posted shortly. Glad to be back!

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            Over the last two decades violent video games have become a cultural phenomenon fueling an $11.7 billion domestic video game industry. These games have been labeled as desensitizing players to real-life violence and rewarding players for simulating violent acts. Independent studies show that 97% of teenagers 12-17 years old in the US played video games in 2008, and the percentage is increasing exponentially (1). Critics argue violent video games are to blame for school shootings, increases in bullying, and violence towards women. Opposing studies believe a majority of the research on the topic is incorrect and that no relationship has been found between video games and social violence. Additionally video game advocates claim playing these games provides a safe outlet for aggressive and angry feelings and helps with relaxation. Sales of video games have more than quadrupled from 1995-2008, while arrest rate for juvenile murders fell 71.9% and the arrest rate for all juvenile violent crimes also declined 49.3% in this same period (1). In an extensive analysis of crime rates and media coverage in Hawaii, Perrone and Chesney-Lind (1998) demonstrated that media coverage of juvenile crime increased as juvenile crime rates declined (2). Video games do not deserve blame for the ills of society.

Research has failed to show a casual link between video games and real-world violence, but several games have garnered significant main stream media attention, including: Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Grand Theft Auto, Super Columbine Massacre RPG and Mortal Kombat. Defenders of video games would argue that these games allow players to escape reality briefly to enjoy and learn from interactive fictional fantasies. “In game design, half the players want to escape and be someone they could never be, and the other half wants someone they can identify with” Porcher Darrel of Harlem Game Wizards (3). Porcher is referencing an element of game design that correlates with movies and books. Much like in all entertainment mediums, consumers of entertainment look for inherent qualities of identifying similarities and suspension of belief. This line of thinking assumes that those who have an interest in violence will actively look for violent forms of entertainment. However this does not mean that gamers with interests in violence are openly violent or dangerous people. Consumers choose what interests them in the market and the video game industry is driven by what sells. So as long as violence is culturally acceptable in America, violent video games will continue to be created for the masses. Many great non-violent video game options exist and are loved by gamers, but most are nowhere near as financially or critically successful as violent video game titles. What the argument in entertainment comes down to is the affects of violent exposure to the developing minds of children.

The minds of children are very fragile to what is real or fiction. That is why the argument over educational development for children has been so heavily debated. Professor Jeanne Funk hosted a study in 2004 that found children exposed to violent video games had linked to lower empathy than those who did not play violent games (1). Empathy is the ability to understand and enter into another’s feelings; this attribute plays an important role in the process of moral evaluation and is believed to inhibit aggressive behavior. This study notes that violent video games may affect the form of violence and desensitization, but does not directly cause the violence to occur. Others argue violent games allow adolescent kids to express aggression and establish status in peer groups without causing physical harm. Video games may in fact suppress criminally aggressive violence by giving safe outlets for kids, which could explain the decreased violent crime and murder rate. A short-term increase in arousal and aggression does not mean a child is going to leave his or her house and commit a violent act.

Worldwide sales of video games are predicted to reach 73.5 billion by 2013(1). As games get more sophisticated and realistic, the debate over whether or not children should be exposed to violent video games continues. As the newest generation of children become more accepting of video games and media violence. Video game developers understand that their role as culture creators is an important one. Video games contain ratings just like movies, so parents are responsible with knowing what their child is playing or watching. The internet gives people virtual access to summaries of every single game ever created, so the only reason for not knowing about what your child is doing is ignorance or laziness. Video games have been the scapegoat for many political and social arguments over the last several decades but times are changing. Sean Vitka of slate.com said: “we need additional perspective, both for a more honest robust debate, but also because the stand for free speech”(4). We are now beginning to live in a cultural where video games are normal and not chastised like in the past. Only the future will show what innovations and social changes will come from video games.

Works Cited

Video Games pro/con

“Do violent video games contribute to youth violence?” videogames.procon.org 15 Oct 2013

http://videogames.procon.org/#Background

Web.

Craig Freeman, Robert Goidel and Steven Procopio

“The impact of television viewing on perceptions of juvenile crime.” Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.  50.1 Mar 2006

Article.

Porcher Darrell

“Break into the Game Industry.” How to get a job making video games 2003

Print.

Sean Vitka

“Video game lovers need a new tactic in the debate about violence.” slate.com. 21 Sep 2013

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/09/21/the_video_game_violence_link_isn_t_worth_debating_it_should_be_about_free.html

Web.

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Kirk Hamilton - Kotaku -

Over the last couple of weeks, Jurassic Park has been just about everywhere. On websites. On social media. Beneath the earth, frozen in amber. We’ve all got Jurassic fever, and it’s been wonderful.

I blame Far Cry 3 for my own Jurassic fixation. That game’s lush island setting is just begging for some dinosaurs. And surely news of Jurassic Park 4‘s 2014 release date (hopefully sans dino-human hybrid commandos) and the coming 3D re-release of the original film have both helped keep velociraptors in the zeitgeist.

Whatever it is, we’ve all got dinosaurs on the brain. Clearly, the time is right for a new Jurassic Park video game.

Let’s track all the Jurassic Park stuff that’s surfaced lately.


First, there’s this joking “ad” for Dinosaur downloadable add-on content for Far Cry 3, which, well, if they ever DO make dino-based DLC, let’s hope it’s this bananas.


In addition to all our Far Cry 3 talk, there’s this volunteer-made Jurassic Park game called Jurassic Life in the works, using the Half-Life engine. Impressive.


And there are a couple of other independent Jurassic Park game-attempts out there, this one via Reddit as collected by Craig Person at RockPaperShotgun. This one’s a stab at remaking the 1998 PC game Jurassic Park: Trespasser in the Unity engine by Colin Kay.


Who then went ahead and made the whole thing again in CryEngine 2. (No dinosaurs yet, unfortunately.)

Neither of those last two are perhaps as impressive-looking as Jurassic Life (that may change once there are dinosaurs), though it’s hard not to get excited about these allegedly in-game images from another Trespasser remake (also via RPS) that look about exactly how I’d expect a current-day Jurassic Park game to look. That amazing image up top is from this collection. Here’s another one:

Nice.

It’s hard to say when any of these games will see the light of day. But one thing seems clear: We are starving for a good Jurassic Park game, and whoever is first to release a proper, Far Cry 3-like dinosaur adventure game will make a mint.


My own Jurassic Park gaming memories mostly consist of two games. The first is Jurassic Park for the Sega Game Gear, which I played the heck out of. It was cool enough, but hardly the amazing adventure that Jurassic Park fans really deserve. Here, you can see a Let’s Play by Arrow Quivershaft. Man, memories.


My other memory is of reading about (yes, reading about) the Sega CD take on the series, which looked so much cooler back then than it does now. Here’s NailStrafer playing it. Gah, that awful music.


I never did play the SNES Jurassic Park game, though there does seem to be plenty of love for it. So I’ll include a video of that, too. Here’s a Lets’ Play from Christopher The Knight.


Those games came out ages ago. But in the interim… what a dry spell it’s been. There was Telltale’s by-all-accounts lackluster Jurassic Park: The Game. There was also Primal Carnage, which was more of a quick Dinos vs. Humans deathmatch game. Past those two, not much, and certainly nothing like the open-world, first-person adventure game we’re all hoping for.

Come on, game-makers! Jurassic Park 4 is coming out! The license is hot! My one piece of advice: Don’t try to make Jurassic Park 4: The Game. Don’t tie this to a film’s release schedule. Use the dinosaurs, but make it its own thing. Follow the Arkham Asylum model. We’ve waited this long for a decent Jurassic Park game; we can wait a bit longer.

The world is ready. Here’s hoping the right people get together to make it happen.

Kojima Productions offers a new current built gen demo, released with the announcement of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroe. All elements are created in the dynamic “Fox Engine” which helped create Metal Gear Sold 4: Guns of the Patriots and the upcoming Metal Gear Solid: “Revengeance”.  The story seems to pick up after the events of the “Peacewalker” incident and will explain what seems to be the “Les Enfante Terribles” project, and the development of Metal Gear: Zeke.

Hideo… Just take my money already…

Assimilate your thoughts, into ours. Post your message into the collective comment center below.

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Here is the latest greatest with the “Zelda Animated Series” that is currently in the works with Dylan Baily and the ever growing team of Zelda enthusiast at Platt College San Diego. I am currently writing some of the episodes in the series which I’m not sure if I’m allowed to talk about (so I won’t), and also get to perform as a voice actor for the new character “Jour”. So needless to say I’m super excited about this and you should be to, so what juicy updates am I going to release you ask?

Well to start off the good news, I have some pdf documents that will do most of the work for me! This is the introduction booklet with information on the series, so click below to check it out!

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Also this is a complete list of all the episodes in the first season, which will also be preformed as radio plays soon!

The Legend of Zelda Episode Guide List

The Project Zelda Team 

Greetings Fellow Zelda fans and Anime Otaku’s of the World.  Have you ever thought to yourself “I always wanted to see the legend of Zelda as a huge epic animated series! “ Well you’re dreams are coming true.  Of course some of you all are saying but wait isn’t there already a Zelda anime in the works? Yes, it’s by friends of ours, (and is based off the manga’s) but this kickstarter is to really get us, Project Zelda money to get animators, and other equipment. This non-profit fan made Zelda anime is based off the Video games, and we are starting right at the beginning.   As we all soar into the Sky, with season one being based on skyward sword.
The series dives deep into hyrule’s mythology and history, and combining 2D and 3D animation.  The series was created to celebrate the legend of Zelda’s history as well as the fans.  We are trying to get to our goal of raising a total for the full animation (and other equipment) budget of 24 episodes is 4,853,300 dollars. Yes folks creating an anime is very expensive to make and for this special occasion it’s all worth it, as you’ll see the origins of the Gerudo , The Sheikah and other  secrets of Hyrule  as well as we try to make sense of the infamous Timeline itself (which we will set ourselves apart by featuring Original stories.

Come check out this early preview showcasing some Zelda videos

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Come check out my blog in the {{STAND BY FOR ASSIMILATION}} section and talk video games!

by Ryan Clements
July 27, 2012

If you play video games, you have — at some point — died.

Death has marched through video game history, distributing frustration, tears, broken controllers, and lost quarters with the same unflinching steadiness as a metronome. We as a collective gaming entity have grown accustomed to death. We sigh, reload save files, and soldier on. But these countless, untimely deaths have unusual effects on the stories we help to tell. Some games acknowledge death. Others do not. When death comes and goes without such acknowledgment, the reality of our favorite games snaps in two.

My first experience with video game death came from a wrecked submarine my father would pilot on our Apple II. I sat in his lap and manned the admittedly simpler firing controls, while he clumsily steered his way through a dark, underwater labyrinth. We never got far. And I thought little of it. I was a child, after all.

What struck me, however, was Mario’s startled face, his sudden shock and pain, upon slamming into a Goomba. He paused, tumbled through the air, and fell into oblivion. Gone forever, his mission for a princess’ love cut tragically shor… no wait, he’s okay. Somehow he returns to the world of the living. And so the cycle continues.

This is normal for us. And it gets weirder.

When the police gun down Niko Bellic in the streets of Liberty City, he should probably stay down. Yet he, too, rises. This miraculous ability was not Mario’s alone, but one shared by all digital denizens.

Our escape from death’s clutches gets out of hand when we control heroes never meant for the afterlife. One obvious example comes to us in the form of an armored green fellow named Master Chief. The iconic John-117 is supposed to boast a dangerous set of skills. In fact, we can safely say he’s the most skilled military operative in the entire human race. More importantly, he has a lot of luck (Eric Nylund said so in the Fall of Reach novelization). So why oh why does Master Chief die all the time? One stray grenade and years of combat experience ragdoll right out the window. Odd, right?

Commander Shepard comes to mind for the same reason. According to the expansive lore BioWare has built for us, Commander (Insert Name Here) Shepard is the most qualified human being in the galaxy to run the show. The “show” being the fate of the human race, specifically. With incredible combat prowess, technical knowhow, and an occasional knack for telekinesis, it stinks when Commander Shepard gets shot by some no-name grunt and dies.

Getting sucked into space and resurrected by Yvonne Strahovski, for the record, makes much more sense.

With death so prevalent in video games you may wonder how any game with fail states (i.e. death) can challenge a player without breaking the realism of the fictional world. It’s possible, and many games do have ways to threaten players with the possibility of loss without killing off the star.

The Prince of Persia remake from 2008 took a clever approach to this issue by eliminating the need for repeated deaths altogether. Instead, the mysterious and magical Elika saves the hero with every mistake we as players make, preventing his untimely demise in a flash of light.

Similarly, the vampire Rachel Alucard from the BlazBlue series also defies death. In fact, her transcendence of time and space plays an important role in the story. And as one of the most powerful characters in the cast, constant deaths wouldn’t suit her. So, upon losing a match, Rachel merely lies — unamused — on the ground. While her opponents slump in pain or crumple into heaps, Rachel reclines on her demonic minion. How bourgeoisie.

And while on the topic of smart dealings with death, it would shame us not to mention EVE Online, the world’s most complicated MMO. In EVE, you pilot awe-inspiring ships through the vastness of space… until you get vaporized by another player or passing pirate. Instead of dying in the traditional sense, though, your mind and/or soul “jumps” to a clone stored safely at a remote location. Players can even upgrade these clones to better soften the blow of death, or place them strategically around the universe to facilitate jumping between space stations.

EVE Online not only circumvents death but incorporates it into actual play. Those Icelandic chaps and chapettes sure know how to make games.

Clearly not all games and game developers can apply magic or unfathomable science to skirt around the reaper and his dark doings. But we, as imperfect beings, will always make mistakes while playing video games. And if those mistakes end in death, well, we have little choice but to accept the cyclical rebirth of our favorite characters — no matter how absurd their continuous resurrection may be.

Sadly, this unspoken agreement with death makes dying in video games much less meaningful. Like our desensitization to violence through continued exposure, we shrug at what should normally fill us with shock and sadness. So until developers come up with a better way to challenge gamers outside of pure mortal threat, we must resign ourselves to inevitable death, destruction, and fleeting darkness.

…unless you have a Phoenix Down.

Very, very special thanks to Brian Altano for designing the above imagery. Follow him on Twitter or here on IGN. He makes this sh*t look easy.

Ryan Clements writes for IGN. He looks forward to dancing tonight. Dancing in the dark. Follow him on Twitter or here on IGN, if you so choose.

Hey everybody just wanted to show my new school magazine design for Comic-Con. I attended it for the first time this year and it was incredible, I also collected a hefty amount of awesome photos which I will be posting soon, and by soon I mean like now!

Here are some more exclusive images from Comic-Con, (click images to enlarge) photography by me!

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Posted: July 15, 2012 in LATEST ARTICLES

Originally posted on JEDIONSTON:

 

 

 

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So for those unlucky few who went to Comic Con and did not download this App I really feel sorry for you, but lucky for everybody else here is a link to the free Comic Con App giving a detailed program of panels and exhibits open through Sunday July 15th.

I will be  posting info and pictures from Comic Con shorty.

Click Here for Comic Con App

Assimilate your thoughts, into ours. Post your message into the collective comment center below.

(comment section will only be available if you clicked on the article title link)

Come check out my blog in the {{STAND BY FOR ASSIMILATION}} section and talk video games!