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    June 24, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: MBTA After The Bomb

    Via Reddit Gaming

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    June 13, 2015
    YouTube Launching Gamers-Only Section

    These days, everyone’s always playing video games.  I know this because everyone has a smart phone, and even the dumbest old-school mobile phone has games on it, so everywhere you go, from the store to the traffic jam on the freeway, everyone around you is probably playing a game, and if they’re not, they’re thinking about games.  Game culture has become a huge business, and YouTube wants to wolidify its position as the online video provider of choice for gamers looking for a Twitch alternative.  YouTube is launching YouTube Gamers, a dedicated section of YouTube just for video game ephemera.

    “On YouTube, gaming has spawned entirely new genres of videos, from let’s plays, walkthroughs, and speedruns to cooking and music videos. Now, it’s our turn to return the favor with something built just for gamers,” writes Alan Joyce, YouTube Gaming’s project manager, in an official YouTube blog post.  ”This summer, we’ll launch YouTube Gaming, a brand new app and website to keep you connected to the games, players, and culture that matter to you, with videos, live streams, and the biggest community of gamers on the web—all in one place.”

    Minecraft videos draw millions of views.  Let’s Play videos are a huge business.  Walk-throughs and whatnot are also very popular.  Everyone loves video game videos, it seems, and it makes sense to keep your Call of Duty away from your Call Me Maybe.  YouTube Gaming will also offer live streaming and the ability to tip channel owners directly; channel owners also get a split of the profits of their advertising, so that might be a good reason to start your own retro gaming channel or something.

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    May 18, 2015
    Microsoft Vs The World In Solitaire

    I have spent hours by myself, playing a very simple card game.  The card game, of course, is Solitaire.  I learned it by watching my grandmother play it on a deck of actual cards, and when we finally got our first computer, well, it was only natural that solitaire became my game of choice on the computer, especially since this was before we had any video games on the computer and online gaming was in its infancy.  Well, now it’s still happening, and with every computer, a new version of Microsoft’s Solitaire Collection.  Microsoft is taking on the world in a Solitaire Tournament.

    The reason for the tournament is actually pretty fun.  After all, it was 25 years ago that Microsoft first added the Solitaire game suite to their computers.  It’s only natural that the company now determine the Microsoft champions of solo computer card games, then allow those champions to challenge the world.

    The Microsoft Solitare Tournament kicks off on June 5.

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    May 12, 2015
    Guitar Hero Is Coming Back

    Guitar Hero is one of the biggest gaming franchises in gaming history.  Between Guitar Hero and Rock Band, millions of games and millions of downloaded tracks were sold, but with all fads, it faded into the background and disappeared.  However, never underestimate the power of nostalgia, and never underestimate the power of a new generation of music fans looking to enjoy rhythm games in high definition.  Guitar Hero is coming back with new songs and a newly designed six-button controller.

    Of course, it’s still a Guitar Hero controller, not an actual guitar, so forget about learning anything while you game.  Still, at least there’s a new controller, and hopefully that means new drums, a new microphone, and a chance to dust off my very rusty skills.  Although I have no idea how they’re going to do a Guitar Hero game with a Skrillex song, but I love the idea of rocking out to some Judas Priest, The Rolling Stones, and Pantera.

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    March 17, 2015
    Nintendo Is Heading To Mobile Games

    Nintendo is one of the world’s leading handheld gaming companies, and they have been for most of my life.  The GameBoy revolutionized things, and even as other competition has arrived, Nintendo has kept up great work in the mobile gaming world without bending to the times.  Now, they’re looking for some outside help when it comes to turning your smartphone into a Nintenphone.  Nintendo and DeNA Mobile are combining forces to design some specialized smartphone games.

    “Nintendo has decided to utilize smart devices aggressively,” said Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. “Now that smart devices have grown to become the window for so many people to personally connect with society, it would be a waste not to use these devices.  We are challenging ourselves to redefine what ‘Nintendo platforms’ mean.”

    The best thing about this news?  It won’t be simple ports of classic Nintendo titles; it’s going to be all new mobile games designed by DeNA and Nintendo to work on today’s phones.  No clunky controller schemes or awkward buttons; smartphone games designed specifically for smartphones.  Pretty amazing, and one of the most exciting things about the whole announcement.  If anyone can make touch work, it’s Nintendo.

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    March 4, 2015
    Microsoft Adds Cross-Buying For Xbox One And Windows 10

    If you buy a video game, you want to play it as much as possible, right?  Of course.  No other way to beat said game than to play it, and unfortunately you have to choose a way to do it.  Xbox One or your actual computer?  One’s a whole lot easier, the other can be a much better gaming experience.  Ease, or quality?  Well, thanks to a new program from Microsoft, you no longer have to choose.  Microsoft has announced the Windows Universal App Platform, which means if you buy a game for your Xbox One, you’ll get it on Windows 10.

    Of course, it won’t be universal.  The choice to participate in the cross-buy program will be left to the developers, not Windows.  So if your favorite game chooses not to participate in the program, then you should complain to them, not Windows.  But there’s other good news.  You can now use Xbox One controller with Windows games, as well as play cross-platform with users on PCs able to play against folks on Xbox Live.  So yeah, that’ll be fun.

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    February 4, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Channel F

    Via Fast Company

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    February 2, 2015
    Sony Sells Online Gaming Arm

    One of the most venerable names in online gaming is Sony.  Oddly enough, Sony’s the company behind one of the most enduring online games ever:  Everquest.  It’s been an enduring cash cow for Sony, but eventually all cows go dry.  Or, in this case, all cows get sold.  Sony has sold Sony Online Entertainment.  Now, Sony’s online games are no longer Sony’s; the new owner of SOE is an investment firm called Columbus Nova, who has renamed the game studio Daybreak Game Company.  Apparently, the only changes the company plans to make are positive ones.

    “This name embodies who we are as an organization, and is a nod to the passion and dedication of our employees and players.  It is also representative of our vision to approach each new day as an opportunity to move gaming forward,” reads a post.  ”It will be business as usual and all SOE games will continue on their current path of development and operation.  In fact, we expect to have even more resources available to us as a result of this acquisition.”

    So,  not only will Sony’s properties continue to function without change, the company plans on expanding its reach.  That’s right, the former SOE is now going to also be developing games for Microsoft’s XBox One console!

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    January 28, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Retro Return

    Via BBC

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    October 10, 2014
    Tracking Trends: Words With Friends

    It’s been five amazing years for Words With Friends, Zynga’s flagship word game and one of the best approximations of Scrabble you can get your hands on these days.  I’m a big fan of the game (and feel free to start a game with me) and while I’m not the best WWF player, I’m very enthusiastic and have anywhere from 5 to 10 games going at any one time.  I must not be alone, because Zynga has released a lot of fun facts about just how much people love their word game.

    There have been 58 billion words played in the game, with players running up 1.2 trillion points.  In the 7.7 million games played, 217 billion letters have been used.  Amazingly, there are 5,478 words that have only been used once (though I’m sure that’s going to chance now that people know the words are out there).  The most popular words are qi, it, he, re, and jo.

    Now, if  you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go.  I’ve got several games waiting on me, and I’m itching to try out my new letters.

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