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FEATURED VOXPOP KevinS
RIP Robin Williams (1951-2014)
By KevinS
Posted on 08/14/14
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...

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Wii Fit Claims First Casualty
Posted on Wednesday, May 28 2008 @ 12:18:47 Eastern

For Jim Fixx, Wii Fit was supposed to be a way for him to have fun losing weight by playing video games. Sadly, Nintendo’s fitness game, intended to draw a more casual audience to video games, was gaming as usual for the late Jim Fixx. Fixx is the latest casualty of video game addiction, dropping to his death after a 19-hour Wii Fit gaming marathon.

Fixx, 19, was proclaimed by many family and friends as very self-conscious about his weight. “Jim was so excited when he first brought the game home, he couldn’t wait to get into it,” Jim’s father, John, stated. “Finally, I thought, a game that allows my son to stay home and exercise so he can spend more time with family.”

After purchasing the game last Wednesday upon its release, Jim became obsessed with lowering his body mass index and going from obese to overweight. “But when Jim started the game up and it first measured his BMI, he was crushed.”

Neighbors of the family remarked that Jim’s family always coddled him. “Sure, everyone knew Jim was as big as an elephant. They just always told him he was going to grow into his body. I always thought the family was full of peanuts.”

Upon hearing the news, friends of Jim Fixx were crushed. They remember him as a young man who loved his body and his video games. “Jimmy, he loved games. Maybe too much, I guess. Whenever he got a new game he would play it to death, figuratively of course, until he beat it. I guess the final boss of Wii Fit was too tough for him.”

That boss, of course, has received more attention upon the game’s release. It is the Wii fit board that calculates each player’s BMI and delivers a health rating ranging from normal to obese. Parents of young kids have already expressed their frustration over the game for calling their kids fat.

“It’s just evil,” remarks concerned parent Patricia Robertson. “If you look at every other game, they don’t criticize you if you don’t meet the games standard. If you steal stuff from people’s houses in a role-playing game, you’re not called a thief. Why should you be called obese in Wii Fit? It doesn’t make sense.”

Others have been more vocal and critical of their concerns over not just Wii Fit but video games in general. “There ought to be a law against these types of games,” chides former lawyer J.K. Thompson. “These games, and it’s not just Wii Fit but also Grand Theft Auto, they reward players for evil actions. Wii Fit lets you set a goal as soon as possible to lose as much weight you want. Losing that much weight is not good for you, just like killing police is not good for you.”

At the time of this press release, Nintendo has refused to comment on the issue. The gamer’s visionary, Shigeryu Miyamoto, is well-known to be proud of his video game that it would implant a more fit mentality within the minds of its players. Some psychologists, however, believe the game implants the wrong mentality.

“By coupling workouts with repeated rewards, such as unlocking new games, you create the idea that excessive workouts are good because you ‘beat the game sooner’ by achieving more success. For all of its good intentions, Wii Fit unfortunately continues the ugly mark of video game addiction,” states ISU psychologist Doug Gentile.

This sentiment echoes many of the more negative comments about the game in review magazines. “The game should have had all of the mini-games available from the beginning,” comments one reviewer from a certain game review spot.

Unfortunately for now, Jim Fixx has found himself at the center of a swirling controversy over Wii Fit that includes casual gamers to hardcore gamers over “the future of video games” and a concerned society still adjusting to the more prominent role video games hold in society.

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May EA buy the video game industry
Posted on Thursday, March 13 2008 @ 16:34:46 Eastern

If I were to simply go off of news headlines I would think EA's CEO had jumped in front of Take-Two's CEO, held a gun at him, and threatened to hijack his car GTA-style. That's the sense one gets if one simply reads "EA initiates hostile takeover of Take-Two," or any of the other similarly styled headlines. When I read it I literally did a double take (or did I 'take two'?); what's so hostile about an approximated $2 billion buyout; that is, what's so hostile about EA wanting to provide Take-Two with a fat lump of sum that Take-Two will value more than its autonomy? This is completely voluntary.

But there is certainly animosity toward EA because of its quest to seemingly buy up every game developer and incorporate it into its monolithic structure. Well, the animosity loosened up when FOX News made incorrect allegations about the company's games. Go figure, then, that the news, again, is pitting EA in bad light.

Yet EA has become a large and successful company only by satisfying the mass desires of gamers. There is no other way it could become so successful—gamers have to buy EA's products, and they would only do so if they seriously thought they would be better off with EA's games than $29.99 or even $59.99. And this ability to satisfy affords EA the opportunity to take further risks, such as buying out companies. If EA continues to produce quality products and gamers are satisfied, then hooray to EA! If not, then gamers will become even more negative toward EA and add the weight of non-purchases to their negative blog and forum posts.

Until then, until a marked decrease and lack in quality arrives, I hope EA continues on and buys the entire video game industry and even buys GR! Maybe dUKE can make GTA V then. But this won't happen because there will always be some other company able to satisfy gamers in a way EA cannot.


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Succinct statements pertaining to games
Posted on Friday, February 15 2008 @ 13:04:59 Eastern

A perusal of the GR blogs of late, and usually anywhere video game discourse occurs, will reveal a couple of issues rising to the top of the discourse. And these issues usually get a bad whiff, displayed by gamers pinching their noses at the stench and noisome odor associated with them. Two of these issues are hype and graphics. I will favorably broach these topics with brevity.

HYPE — This is a word formed from the word hyperbole, which is an exaggeration (literally, a "going beyond"), and primarily means "excessive advertising or publicity." Gamers usually feel ill of hype games, but why? I say, hype has its place, as hyperboles do in argumentation. Hyperbolic statements, effectively used in arguments, help drive home the point of arguments like Richard Petty or Jeff Gordon drives home the checkered flag. Ineffectively used, hyperboles drive arguments as well as a drunk Paris Hilton. This said, hype, itself, is not a bad thing. The use of hype is what is either good or bad. With so much fodder in the video game industry (and there truly is a wealth of crap video games, as GR's periodic worst games lists show), hype can even help a game stand out. The Sony PlayStation was one of the most popular video game consoles, and while it had a bevy of quality games, it had even more forgetful games. Without hype, how does the mute (the few good games) shout above the boastful (the wealth of crap games)? Else, he goes silent.

GRAPHICS — Did you know that when you say "video" you are saying "I see" in Latin? Except for the minor fact that the 'v' was pronounced as a 'w' in classic Latin. The English word video is derived from the Latin verb videre ("to see"). So I find it ironic when people denounce the focus on graphics in video games. Video games, inherently, are graphical entertainment. Games, at their base level, consist of a hoard of changing pixels. That is, games cannot be anything but graphical! Like hype, there's nothing bad about graphics themselves, but the effective use of them. People will say interactivity, the gameplay, takes precedence over graphics, and graphics shouldn't be focused on. Again: Graphics are tied to video games and affect how we perceive and interact with the game, how we play the game. If a game has more "believable" graphics, then immersion can be improved. If a game poorly renders a crucial part of the game, then immersion, interactivity, is lost. Do you think someone ever said to Michaelangelo, "Hey, Mike, why spending so much time accentuating David's penis? As long as people understand what it is, isn't that important?" Ballyhoo!

NO PAUSE? — Electronic Arts developers of Dead Space are considering eliminating the PAUSE feature. I say: Do it! Every medium of entertainment (books, music, movies) allow for pausing. Let's try a novel interactive feature and insert more gameplay into a game. If it doesn't work, oh well. But what if?

NEVER ANTI-SOCIAL — Video games have always been a social medium. From the early days where programmers would swap games on floppies to the advent of consoles that always included an option for 1+ players, the video game industry has always focused on socializing. And this socializing has reached new heights with MMO games and the Internet. What other medium can claim this ubiquity of socialization?

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The mass effects of outing a fox
Posted on Friday, January 25 2008 @ 19:45:14 Eastern

Since my first venture into video games I have thought video games a viable medium. This contention has often been part of a struggle for gamers as it is continuously challenged. The news outlet FOX is the most recent challenger, professing outright ...   read more...

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I won Vox Pop!
Posted on Tuesday, November 27 2007 @ 20:01:12 Eastern

I just declared myself the winner of the Vox Pop contest. I am the voice of the people! Time to play Viva Pinata....   read more...

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(Beautiful) Blue Dragon
Posted on Saturday, October 13 2007 @ 11:00:31 Eastern

I think I could play Blue Dragon for the Xbox 360 just to stare at its gorgeous graphics. Akira Toriyama's graphical wizardry is fully realized in this RPG, and the game (30 minutes in) is a treat to play and indulge in, even if it so far flows as a ...   read more...

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Why do I keep dying in Halo 3?
Posted on Thursday, September 27 2007 @ 11:07:10 Eastern

My roommate purchased Halo 3 upon its Tuesday midnight release. So far it's been everything I thought it'd be: a graphically-improved version of Halo 1 + Halo 2, frosted with quality online multiplayer.

Before embarking on Halo 3, my roomm...   read more...

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The University of Michigan is a useless school
Posted on Tuesday, July 3 2007 @ 22:23:03 Eastern

Apparently gaming cuts into reading and homework time, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan.

Could there be a more worthless study? You\'re telling me you had to conduct a study to figure out performing one activity ...   read more...

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5000 reads
Posted on Tuesday, July 3 2007 @ 03:53:58 Eastern

I refresh my blog 10 times every time I make a new post. That's how I get 5000 reads.

Shaft....   read more...

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The big box!!
Posted on Thursday, June 14 2007 @ 18:31:02 Eastern

YAYAYAYA!! I won the big box o games! Give it up!

This is more exciting than winning $50,000 playing Plinko!!...   read more...

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