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FEATURED VOXPOP ryanbates
Gamer Love
By ryanbates
Posted on 12/19/14
When a player one meets his or her player two, it's a beautiful thing. Check out this cake my friend and GameRevolution reader Lindsey L. gave her sweetums on their two-year anniversary!   ...

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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014)
Posted on Sunday, December 7 2014 @ 14:42:22 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.


RIP Ralph Baer
(1922-2014)

I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first place. He’s not nearly as well known as he deserves to be, which is why it brings me some pleasure in being able to talk about him.

His story of coming to the US to escape Nazi Germany during World War II, coming up with the idea of playing games on a television set and bringing it to fruition, and essentially creating the video game as we call it today is entirely unmatched in this industry. This is the guy that developed, for the first time, the ability to play a game on a television set in your home. He did that. And it wasn’t as if he was a one-hit wonder, either; you ever played a game with a light gun? He made that too, which was created with the first console (which he himself made), the Brown Box, and later released with the Magnavox Odyssey.

Ever played the electronic game Simon? He made that too. By the time he died he had well over 100 patents in his name, developing games and technologies we still play with today. He was not only an engineering genius, but a gamer, and one that developed for us what we’re here for now. Nolan Bushnell and Atari may be better known for kickstarting this industry into what it is today, but without the Odyssey, there would be no Pong. And without the Brown Box, there would be no Odyssey. And without Ralph Baer and the stray thought of “what else can you do with a TV set in your house?” in the early 1960s, there would be no Brown Box to evolve into the Odyssey.

The argument could be made that these things would’ve come anyway, that somebody else would’ve made and monetize them. But what happened was, he did. Without Ralph Baer, who knows what we’d be doing right now (maybe reading or something, it wouldn’t be quite as much fun).

Thank you, Mr. Baer. I will, unlike the later stages of Simon, always remember you.

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RIP Robin Williams (1951-2014)
Posted on Thursday, August 14 2014 @ 07:58:46 Eastern

This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.

Robin Williams (1951-2014)

Robin Williams was an absolutely exceptional comedian, talented actor, and holder of a special place in video game history: He was the first really famous gamer I know of. I’m sure there were others, but they kept a comparatively low profile, unlike one of the greatest improv comics of all time who named his daughter after a video game character.

I do love that story. With his wife pregnant during the NES era, he was obsessed with the original Legend of Zelda. Played for hours and hours. And at one point, when his son proposed the name "Zelda" for his soon-to-be-born little sister, they all said it out loud… and named her just that. Shortly after that, Zelda Williams came into the world, and even starred with her father in a 3DS commercial for the portable release of Ocarina of Time.

Not much of an obit, but he will be properly written about in articles and stories for years to come. His talents as a stand-up and improv master are only rivaled by the skills of the late Jonathan Winters, who was both a mentor and friend of Williams, as well as another star on the classic series Mork & Mindy. The energy Williams brought to everything he did made him an inspiration to an entire generation of comedians, just as Winters had done before him. But to wrap this up in short order:

Robin Williams was an improv king, and the father of a legendary princess. And for everything he brought to the stage, the screen, and a level of legitimacy early on in the gaming industry, he will be missed.

Goodbye, you amazing funny, fuzzy, bafflingly brilliant bastard you.

This article by a GR staff member, posted earlier in August 11, has been lightly edited for grammar and image inclusion. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan

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GaymerX
Posted on Saturday, August 3 2013 @ 05:22:42 Eastern

The eve of GaymerX is upon us, and I'm getting a little excited.  I do like going to conventions, and this one should be an amusing doozy I haven't experienced before.  It's been some time since I went to a smaller-scale convention (the last I remember being Classic Gaming Expo in 2010) and I've gotten used to the neon-drenched phenomenon that is the Electronic Entertainment Expo which, in my experience, spoils some of the fun of smaller conventions.  Even so, I prefer a more intimate setting for the video game fandom; the feeling that you can strike up a conversation with another human being because you have something directly in common.   That's the perk of GaymerX to me.  There's a freedom in such a setting, especially one in an LGBTQ-themed venue… I don't have to subconsciously avert my gaze should I find myself looking over another human being of my gender and they sudden turn my direction.  Sure, it's creepy to still stare after that, but at least I know the possibility that I'll be beat up is much, MUCH smaller.  One of the biggest perks, I might say.

But for everyone that thinks it's a super-swell idea to have a queer-themed convention, there's a chorus of other voices calling out.  "Why not just meet up at another con if you want to be gay together?"  "Why do you NEED a convention just for gay people?  Isn't that exclusionary?"  "Why are you looking at my butt, do you think I'm a gay homo?"

*sigh*

Conventions like GaymerX, or FurCon, or any other niche fandom isn't exactly "exclusionary" (I'm including FurCon because, even though I've never gone, I don't think they'd purposefully keep out the curious or non-furries on principle).  It's good to throw some of these because, unlike major gatherings like ComicCon or PAX, there aren't vast differences in the groups that might arrive.  At their core, a section of ComicCon is very much like the entire gathering of GaymerX: a table/few tables of specific stuff or purpose catering to a smaller demographic that's interested.  ComicCon deals with what seems to be nearly every cultural medium, from comics and graphic novels to television and film, in order to get together the largest crowd possible.  Smaller conventions that focus on "Star Trek" or Dungeons & Dragons fans are the same, just with a finer focus.  Would you say "why do you want your own convention" to a nerd in a Storm Trooper outfit?  Would you ask why a LARP-ing enthusiast would want to be around other LARP-ing enthusiasts with the same gusto?

Last night, at the "before the con" party, there were straight people in the audience.  I know, I saw them dotted around like Kangaskhan in the Safari Zone.  They were treated just like every other paying customer, out to support their hobby and - I can only guess at this, but I think I'm right in this case - supporting the simple existence of a gaming class of gaymers.  Girls weren't excluded because they brought their boyfriends just like gay people aren't excluded at DunDraCon.  We were all there to have a good time and - possibly - learn something, or at least bring up some ideas that might make things better for everyone involved.  After having gone to Classic Gaming Expo seven times and basking in the beautiful glow of old arcade games and chats about interactive origins, the 3DS Streetpasses and where LGBTQ characters might go in the future strikes me as exactly the same thing.  Just because I date boys doesn't mean I'm not also interested in how much ass Jet Set Radio kicks (mostly mine, picked it back up again through PSN and it harms my SOUL), and just because I support LGBTQ causes doesn't mean LGBTQ characters can't bring something to the stories and experiences told through an interactive medium.
  Do I want more people to feel comfortable being who they are?  You're damn right I do.  The acceptance of such a convention might help someone know that they're not alone, and that other people can have a fun time with each other without ridicule or fear of reprisal.

The Westboro Baptist Church has said repeatedly that they're going to protest at some point during the convention.  To them I say, feel free.  You're going to chant and sing and scream about how we're all going to hell, or that we're all worshipping false idols, or whatever bullshit you think revomiting might get picked up by the local news.  And while you're doing that, we're going to be in one of my favorite, coolest, most beautiful cities in the world… and indoors talking about video games and why we like them.

I think we're all feeling better already.

Thanks for reading, and I'll see you next time.


(Originally posted on The Ramble, Kevin Schaller's personal blog.  All words are his, and not necessarily those of any organization or other writer here on GR.  Besides, I hear he's kind of a drunk.  And he smells, too.  -Kevin)

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UPDATE: Arcades Are Still Dead
Posted on Monday, May 13 2013 @ 14:18:00 Eastern

[Editor's Note: As Kevin Schaller is a staff writer for us, this of course won't be counted in the monthly Vox Pop prize. But this post is awesome, nonetheless. Maybe TOO awesome.]

I've been a bit perturbed lately, so ...   read more...

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Gaming's Not A Fad - A Brief History (In Song)
Posted on Wednesday, September 12 2012 @ 16:03:42 Eastern

[Since KevinS is a writer for us, this won't be considered to win Vox Pop. But I still think it's fantastic! ~Ed. Nick]

I was bored one evening, and before I knew it I had this all written out.  If you e...   read more...

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Under 100K Club: Gitaroo Man/Gitaroo Man Lives! (PS2/PSP)
Posted on Sunday, April 24 2011 @ 19:46:36 Eastern

One of my favorite rhythm games was brought back to my attention recently... actually, about when I came up with the idea of this "Under 100K Club" blog series.  Many gamers seem to already know about the crybaby hero of the planet Git...   read more...

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Under 100K Club: Retro Game Challenge
Posted on Friday, April 15 2011 @ 22:14:33 Eastern

I always find myself cursing the market for allowing some of my favorite games to go by unnoticed and un-purchased, so with my space here I think I'll start harping on at least...   read more...

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Super Genny Brothers
Posted on Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 21:04:35 Eastern

Surfing eBay is a blast.  Where else is the bulk of crazy, off-beat knock-offs and hacks at just a quick type and tap of an enter key?

Super Mario Brothers... on the Genesis!

When I worked retail a few years back I ...   read more...

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Happy Birthday!
Posted on Thursday, August 26 2010 @ 16:25:40 Eastern

It's not entirely sure as to what day it was released, but the Magnavox Odyssey was launched back in August of 1972.  In doing so, it launched the market for electronic games played on a television.  So happy birthday Odyssey, getting e...   read more...

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DN:F Release Date TBA?
Posted on Thursday, August 19 2010 @ 00:36:37 Eastern

God I hope this rumor is true.

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2010/08/rumour-borderlands-studio-reviving-duke-nukem-forever/

According to Kotaku, Gearbox might have taken up the mantle that 3D Realms and George Broussard left ...   read more...

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