Gamers are all enthusiastically discussing the announcements and outcome of this week’s E3 conference in Los Angeles. But I spent time last week at a very different conference, the Gotland Game Conference at Gotland University in Visby, Sweden. Most of my photographs of the event are of Visby itself, a city built inside old castle walls and full of historical ruins and charm. But you don’t have to take my word that there was a game conference there! At GGC, I was honored to be a juror and play some very promising student projects that were created right at the school. A few of those below the jump!
So maybe you’ve heard the news. Nintendo doesn’t seem to want people to make Let’s Play videos of their games anymore. If you do, Nintendo would like the ad revenue from its copyrighted content.
You may think this is fair. The core content, after all, is Nintendo’s. I, personally, do not think this is fair. I love me some Let’s Plays. And for numerous reasons: they’re a great way to do long-form critique of a game; they’re a great teaching tool; they’re often entertaining in their own right; and, gosh darnit, a lot of times they inspire me to buy the game.
I almost left a much longer comment on this fantastic Gamasutra piece talking about the history and pedigree of the Let’s Play. But then I realized that there was no better way to say screw-the-man than making this a full post, and sharing some of my favorite LPs with you right here. So join me below the jump for the happy links. Or check out, just for starters, the LP Archive and browse to see if your favorite game is there too.
I’ve been on the road near-constantly since my trip to IndieCade in New York City, so a comprehensive trip report is a bit late in coming. However, I did want to share briefly with everyone the games I saw at the show. This is far from every game, just the games I personally engaged with on Saturday when I stopped in. Maybe there’s something on the list that will interest you, too!
Its name is the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro. Not an imaginative or inspiring name, not like some of its predecessors in my gaming history – Sidewinder or Magnum 6, for instance – but beggars, as they say, can’t be choosers. Starting now, I call it “Extry.” Because truncating things and then putting a ‘y’ at the end totally works for names. Like for my Loftwing in Skyward Sword, which I named “Beaky,” short for Commodore Beakington the Third. But I digress.
Extry has one very important feature that his predecessors, however beloved, sorely lack: Windows 7 compatibility.
Has this ever happened to you?
You’re a player of video games – what one might call a “gamer.” You’ve probably built up a backlog because of Steam sales and fall release schedules and not having time to play video games because of the rest of your life interfering. So you have some free time, you take the game off the top of the stack (or proverbial stack, as the case may be) and start playing. For the sake of argument, let’s call this hypothetical game Alan Wake.
So it turns out you don’t really dig this game that much, which is too bad, but it happens. Still, you’re desperate to fill the endless holidays hours (hypothetically) somehow or other, and this is the perfect time to check some things off the list, so you choose another. And another. Nothing clicks. This one is deeply flawed; that one just isn’t your thing. You give up on new titles and boot up a mainstay, a known quantity, maybe more than one. (Let’s call this game Endless Space. Or maybe Soul Calibur. Even Dark Souls.) And despite the glories of past sessions, the record of unbridled enthusiasm that can set you on logging embarrassing numbers of hours on a game, you can barely stand to play it. (Or them.)
You’ve got gamer’s block.
Merry Christmas, Tap readers! Or, Happy Holidays if you happen to celebrate something else! Lots of us have to hit the road on the holidays, and may be far away from our regular game consoles. So this week I took a quick break from sipping on eggnog to check out a couple of Christmas-themed games on the Android app market. Free holiday fun below the jump!
When Kickstarter really took off, I told myself that I wouldn’t use Tap as a forum to promote every single Kickstarter that our readers ought to support if they’re really our friends. And I’ve done pretty well thus far, I think!
But Cloud Imperium’s Star Citizen is, put simply, the most exciting game I can think of coming out in the next few years. It has the outstanding Wing Commander pedigree (courtesy of designer Chris Roberts) and aims to resuscitate a genre thought dead. And as we speak there are only days remaining to help Star Citizen reach even more outrageous levels of funding.
I’ve already said what I would have gone on to say about the starfighter sim genre, in my first ever article for Tap! (The circle, as they say, is now complete.) So if you need convincing, read that.
If you don’t, go ahead and show Star Citizen some love – before it’s too late!
Please forgive my indulgence in some backloggery-related ephemera today.
A game called Halo 4 is out! Perhaps you have heard of it.
I would be writing up my Impressions, but I have not gotten to play it yet. The reasons for this are myriad but could mostly be summed up with the words “money” and “time.” I have been busy this week. I’m working on a game! And I have another thing on my plate too.
See, I got another hit of the Red Vs. Blue for a review. It was sent post-hurricane and the review embargo on it is lifted. There is a small problem, which I must enumerate. We are, in fact, a Halo Household. That means …
The Art of Video Games is located, for just one more week, in Washington D.C., in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It is a few blocks away from the bulk of the museums proper, a bit of a jog from the central area surrounding the National Mall. It shares a building with the National Portrait Gallery. To actually see the exhibit, one must climb up to the third floor, sneak around past a coffee lounge, and enter a dimmed area that looks less like an art museum exhibit than it does a night club.
So I’m one half of a fledgling podcasting team (the other half being Kristine Chester of Fanboy Comics) that makes up the Worlds That Never Were Podcast, and we talk about cool stuff and engage topics in games, comics, and movies. We’re both former English majors, so, you know. Sometimes we get rhetorical.
In our latest episode, we were super pleased to welcome Tap’s own Steerpike on for a chat about some games that everyone should play. Take a listen!