Video games

What happens in the mind stays in the mind? New evidence on video games and violence

A study by a team around Dr Gregor Szycik from the Hannover Medical School in Germany analyzed possible long term effects of playing violent video games regarding the desensitization hypothesis (mainly based on observes short time effects).

The money quote of the paper is: “We interpret our results as evidence against the desensitization hypothesis and suggest that the impact of violent media on emotional processing may be rather acute and short-lived.”

The original paper: Gregor R. Szycik, Bahram Mohammadi, Thomas F. Münte and Bert T. te Wildt: Lack of Evidence That Neural Empathic Responses Are Blunted in Excessive Users of Violent Video Games: An fMRI Study

And an article on the topic: iflscience: Study Finds No Long-Term Effects Of Violent Video Games On Empathy


Image: By Nick Stirling - "IF 12: Cultivate"

Beautiful Atari Box Art

I was trying to write a story about my first days of gaming and our low level graphic quality discussions as children ("Mario has a MOUSTACHE and DOTS IN THE EYES, it IS BETTER") but the text went nowhere. So, here is just the link I originally wanted to share: An article with a beautiful gallery of Atari box cover art. 


AVClub: How fantastical Atari box art taught the world what makes video games special


Image: By Mark Hillary - Atari Flashback 5

History of Tomb Raider

With the exception of Tomb Raider for Gameboy I think I have played and finished every game of the Tomb Rader series. Not even my beloved Zelda games may claim this fact. So it is a very interesting travel through my personal gaming history, remembering all the games featuring famous adventurer Lara Croft.

In the pantheon of popular video-game characters, Tomb Raider heroine Lara Croft has carved out a place for herself as one of the industry’s most accomplished and successful icons. Since the release of the very first Tomb Raider back in 1996, the globe-trotting adventurer has starred in more than a dozen games, a pair of big-budget Hollywood blockbusters, a long-running comic-book series, an animated series, and even a set of amusement-park rides.

Digital Trends: History of Tomb Raider: Blowing the dust off 17 years of Lara Croft

Ghost cities in World of Warcraft

Great article on abandoned cities in MMORPGs as World of Warcraft.
The only thing I would like to add here is that Darnassus was never really crowded (and I liked this).

With yet another expansion in the works, there’s no doubt that the boom and bust cycle of WOW’s cities and wilds will continue. Players will move on to new places for new quests and leave behind the spaces where millions have spent countless hours. Those empty expanses will remain intact, pristine despite their abandonment. That perfect preservation makes these ghost towns all the more eerie, but in the silence is a chance to see the quiet beauty that was there all along.

Special Topics in Gameology: There's hidden beauty in abandoned World of Warcraft cities.

Lokalisierungsprobleme in Social Games

Der Artikel handelt zunächst von Social bzw. Casual Games und geht dann ins Detail zu Problemen, die bei der Lokalisierung von Hidden Object Games auftreten:

Recientemente, tuve la oportunidad de colaborar en el testeo de localización de un juego de Facebook. Fue un proyecto en el que aprendí muchísimo, al ser de un género y plataformas distintos a los anteriores. Como añadido, el género se prestaba a una serie de complejidades de localización curiosas. Me explico: en líneas generales, el objetivo del juego era encontrar una lista de objetos ocultos en escenarios de distinta dificultad. En inglés, este subgénero se conoce bajo el nombre de Hidden Object Games.

Dificultades añadidas de la localización de juegos de Facebook

How to talk about games

We need a better way to write about games. I don’t mean a new form of journalism. I’m not seeking the Lester Bangs or Pauline Kael of video games. My point is much simpler.

We need more words.

For a long time we’ve tried to make games align with our critical sensibilities. We’ve focused a dramaturgical lens on narrative games; we’ve applied film theory to cinematic games; we’ve examined games as rhetorical systems; and we’ve tried to understand the systemic principles that define games. These are worthy efforts, not a waste of time. We each shine the light we own.

Brainy Gamer: Emotional experience through a gameplay world