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Friday
Jan152016

ESPN Shows It's Serious about eSports

Well I think that it is obvious, much to the chagrin of many "traditionalist", that eSports is making its move into the spotlight. The best way to see that ESPN is taking eSports more seriously is the creation of its very own section on the website. Not only will you get to hear about some of the top players in the world, but you'll get to see exclusive reports about tournaments, team members, stand out talent. You'll also get to see breakdown analysis, and videos capturing all of this in all of its glory. 

Now I will say one thing about it, I'm impressed that ESPN is taking this step forward, even though the president really really doesn't want to deal with eSports, and going on the record saying its not a sport it's a competition just like Chess or Checkers. The reality is that this is a growing phenomena and its only getting bigger as more and more people embrace it.

I do wonder what all they are going to over, as you can see as of this article they have League of Legends (LoL), Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota2), and HearthStone as their sections. One would hope that there is going to be an increase in what will be covered, *cough, cough* SMITE and Counter-Strike, but I guess we will find out later down the road. For now lets just bask in this moment that is a pretty strong indication that we might see a bigger presence for eSports on more than just the website.

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Wednesday
Jan132016

Far into the Future, Discover What Happened to the Humans

A very popular theme in games is to go to the post apocalyptic setting and this game, The Aquatic Adventures of the Last Human, fits this mold. However it definitely has a different spin on things. The game is set in the year 2971 where resources are dwindling and humans have had to take to living under the ocean as its the last warm spot in the world. Now of course even these cities are starting to fail so submarines are being sent out into a wormholes to see if they can find a place for the humans to survive and once again thrive. 

The twist is that one of these ships, Argo9, somehow doesn't leave the Earth but travels a million years into the future. What it finds is a land that is completely barren of human life, but an aquatic system filled with wonder and great dangers. This is a 2D sidescroller that will have you trying to pick up the pieces of what ultimately caused the demise of humans, as well as having to battle what now lurks in the shadows of the water.

The game is scheduled to come out on January 19th on Steam for all platforms (PC, Mac, Linux), and was developed by the Swedish team YCJY Games.

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Thursday
Jan072016

MomoCon to Have an AFK Room

Now I know to some AFK is a foreign phrase, to us gamers AFK stands for Away From Keyboard, but what does that mean to have an AFK room. Well what the means is that the organization known as Take This will have a room that will allow you to separate yourself from the hustle and bustle of the convention. The amazing thing is that this room with be staffed and will be available to interact with those who need the reprieve from the craziness.

To be honest there are times when people get overwhelmed by all that is going on, and they get lost, anxious, perhaps a little socially uncomfortable, or even feeling harassed. This is a place to help soothe those thoughts/feelings.

If you want more information on this group, Take This, follow the link.

Personally I think that I might take advantage of this room. This is going to be a safe haven, and I think anyone who shows up or needs some time in there is not stupid, dumb, or anything like that, I think that they are brave, and strong, and understand that sometimes we all need to take a step away so that we can have a better experience overall.

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Thursday
Jan072016

Oculus Rift Now Available for Pre-Order

Quite a few of us have waited for this day, the day in which we can start to pre-order the Oculus Rift, or just actually find out how much it was going to cost us. Well there's some good news and some potentially bad news.

Alright so let's start with the good news, the first round of these are coming out in March. According to the developers the price tag that they have put on the product is as low as they can go, they apparently will be losing a bit of money on each sale. The system comes with 2 games bundled in EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky's Tale. It will also come with an XBox One controller.

Now let's get down to the real stuff that is going to probably make most of us pretty sad inside. This system/bundle/whatever is going to cost $599. That's a bit out of my price range, unless someone wants to hook up Altered Confusion. Here are the listed requirements needed to have it work on your home system:

I'm going to be honest I don't think I've personally seen a rig that has 3 USB 3.0 ports, although I could be wrong, but that's a lot of USB ports that are needed. Now of course there's also the Video Card requirements, but we knew those were going to be steep.

So if you want to be an early adopter, your time is now. For the rest of us who are going to have to wait, at least we know that it's coming out and that maybe one day down the road we will finally get that Ready Player One future we kind of want to be a part of.

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Wednesday
Jan062016

Will the Women Ghostbusters Get the Same Video Game Treatment as the Men?

The new Ghostbusters movie is set to be released July 16, 2016 as one of the most anticipated reboots in recent memory. The movie is getting attention, mostly because the four main characters—Dr. Peter Venkman, Dr. Ray Stantz, Dr. Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore—will be portrayed by women instead of men. The first Ghostbusters series was incredibly popular, which of course inevitably meant that it was translated to the video game console. The series featured a number of video game releases, dating back to Activision’s self-titled Ghostbusters that originally came out for computers in 1984, though it eventually made its way to consoles like Nintendo and Atari.

The series has been featured in a wide range of games from computer simulations to arcade games, with the latter still going particularly strong today. That's made evident in the fact that the franchise lives strong today at this site, which features an online game where players take on ghosts in an effort to win prizes. You know, much like in the films. The thing is, the characters in the game are all from the original two Ghostbusters films, including monsters such as the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man and Slimer. So as a thought experiment, let’s say the 2016 version was the first to come out with the four female leads. Would the genre still have the same video game success?

While a number of movies have been made into games with strong male leads, the reverse is rarely true. It’s actually difficult to find action movies with a strong female lead the transitioned into the video game world. There have been some titles that worked in the opposite direction. Both Tomb Raider and Resident Evil were video games with female leads that became successful movie franchises. The movies, though, were aimed at young video-game playing men with attractive leads (Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider and Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil) to carry the torch.

What we’re looking for, though, are movies that became games with females as the lead, and the reason for their non-existence so far may be a chicken and egg dilemma. In the early days of gaming, mainly the mid-1980s when home consoles became more common, most action movies starred men: Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. When game makers looked for bankable stars to make into video games, these were the obvious choices, so there were few, if any, female heroines to make games after.

Movies, though, have begun to change. A perfect example is the Hunger Games franchise where a marketable star, Jennifer Lawrence, plays a female hero in an action series. In 2012, when the first movie in the series was released, movie studio Lionsgate said a video game about the series was a “no brainer.” The video game experts at this publication believe a game would definitely work, but none have yet to appear.The same story can be told of the Divergent series, which has turned into a poor-man’s Hunger Games (kind of). The series also features a female lead fighting in a dystopian future. While Summit Entertainment reportedly filed a trademark to produce a game, nothing again has come of it.

The reason might actually be pretty simple. Both the Hunger Games and Divergent series were aimed at girls. The Entertainment Software Association did a study in 2011 and found that 42 percent of all gamers are girls with the largest growing demographic being women over the age of 18. While the numbers are better than expected, they might not be enough for game creators to want to invest in a title that may not have a market. That’s, in part, what makes the reboot of Ghostbusters particularly interesting. Developers obviously thought enough of the male-based movies to make several games about the franchise. Will they do the same with female leads? If the movie is a flop, game companies will likely avoid the series, but if it’s a smash, then that will provide the real answer.

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