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    Articles by Christian Morlotte – View Profile

    Study shows girls like to play, but don’t like to tell

    by Christian Morlotte on Feb 20, 2010 at 11:25 AM

    Video games and their culture have, since its beginning, been mostly directed at men. Most video games are developed by teams composed mainly of men and explore subjects appealing mostly to men. This has turned men into the target audience for most of the titles and this cycle is perpetuated by profits which drive developers to focus on men.

    Some of the recent titles with a more general appeal, like Guitar Hero, Rock Band or Wii Fit, have made video games more interesting for girls but even now the idea of a gamer girl isn’t very common. Or is it?

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    Modern Warfare 2, Uncharted 2 lead nominees for 2010 BAFTA awards

    by Christian Morlotte on Feb 18, 2010 at 07:57 PM

    BAFTA AwardsThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) was one of the first major organizations to give recognition to video games as serious forms of entertainment. Since 2005 it has included a category for video games along with its usual awards for films and television.

    In what is probably no surprise to anyone, Modern Warfare 2 and Uncharted 2 are at the top of the nominations for the 2010 Video Games Awards.

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    Vintage NES system fetches $13,000 USD at online auction

    by Christian Morlotte on Feb 14, 2010 at 04:38 PM

    I guess many of us have our old NES system lying around somewhere. Mine is in a closet gathering dust after a failed attempt at resurrection a couple of years ago. I tried every hack in the book to make it work but in the end it just gave up the ghost.

    One lucky resident of North Carolina, US, experienced a totally different story. Not only is her NES working perfectly, but she managed to sell it online for an amazing profit.

    She put the console up for auction on eBay and included five games in the package. She thought there was nothing special about her stuff but when she checked the auction, the bids had reached $6,000. After a while, the winner took the console and the games for a little over $13,000…

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    New Super Mario Bros. outsells Modern Warfare 2 on the PS3

    by Christian Morlotte on Feb 14, 2010 at 02:18 PM

    Modern Warfare 2 has been a total success for Infinity Ward and Activision. With sales in the hundreds of millions it has become one of the biggest entertainment properties ever, putting it in the same league as blockbusters like Avatar. It is an awesome action title and without a doubt one of the best shooters around, but apparently it is not the only one enjoying overwhelming success.

    In an interview with GT TV, back in November, 2009, when New Super Mario Bros. came out, Reggie Fils-Aime – president of Nintendo of America – predicted that it would outsell Modern Warfare 2, when comparing sales on a single system, be it Xbox or PS3. While at that time the statement would have sounded somewhat bold, it actually became true…

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    No, Really, Eh: Canadian company develops CrowdWave game system for the masses

    by Christian Morlotte on Feb 6, 2010 at 09:00 AM

    While many video games including FIFA or Madden already address the average couch quarterback or striker, Canadian Bent 360 has designed a game aimed at people who are actually at a sports event.

    CrowdWave is a system that allows people at a sports arena to participate in a video game by moving their body. The system is composed of a series of cameras and motion sensors that analyze the movements and position of bodies in a crowd. This way the crowd can point their bodies in the right direction and manipulate objects in a game.

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    Mass Effect makes physics cool

    by Christian Morlotte on Jan 31, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    The Mass Effect series is one of the games mixing science with story in a fun way. In this case, the game introduces the concept of dark matter into its core mechanics. Dark matter is a concept theorized by many physicists as an explanation for the constant and increasing expansion of the universe, but Mass Effect puts it to a different and probably more interesting use.

    The game introduces the concept of “biotics,” beings (human or otherwise) that can control dark energy and use it to move objects and affect their surroundings. This ability endows biotics with Jedi-like abilities making them fearsome fighters. This same energy allows for faster-than-light travel and other technological wonders that populate the game. This phenomenon, called “mass effect” in the game world, is what gives the series its name.  All this is explained throughout the game giving players access to this subject in a more entertaining way.

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    Researchers demonstrate interactive board game technology (with video)

    by Christian Morlotte on Jan 28, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    A long time ago board games were all the rage.

    People used to sit around a table and spend hours throwing the dice, spinning wheels and flipping cards while moving the little pieces around a board. With the appearance of video games, for many people the focus changed from a table to the TV and now several of those board games are a thing of the past (or ironically turned into video games).

    Now, thanks to a couple of Canadian researchers, board games may be making a come back.

    Roel Vertegaal and Eric Akaoka, of Queen’s University, are developing a way to make interactive board games in a whole new way. By using a projector and a motion tracking camera they can create interactive playing cards that react to motion and their position in relation to other cards. An image is projected on the cards and the camera tracks their motion so when they are in the right position, like next to another card, the images on both cards interact.

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    A bigger brain might mean bigger game scores

    by Christian Morlotte on Jan 22, 2010 at 02:20 AM

    I have wondered many times what makes someone a better gamer than the rest. I thought it was basically down to good reflexes and practice but, according to a recent study, it might all be in your head.

    The study, published by the Cerebral Cortex Journal, was conducted in the US by the University of Illinois, the University of Pittsburgh and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Scientists from these universities found a relation between the size and development of a certain part of the brain and a person’s ability to perform at video games.

    There is a general relation between brain size and intelligence in the animal kingdom so, the larger the animal, the smarter it is.  There are notable exceptions as in the case of humans, though. Even though a whale’s brain is bigger than ours, humans are thought to be smarter because the part of the brain that controls cognitive abilities is proportionally larger. In a similar fashion, a person’s ability at certain tasks can be identified from the size of the regions in the brain responsible for those tasks.

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    Australia might not get an R18 thanks to Attorney General Atkinson

    by Christian Morlotte on Jan 21, 2010 at 11:09 AM

    It seems that the situation in Australia concerning video games ratings isn’t getting better any time soon as the debate will be dragged along again by the South Australian Attorney General, Michael Atkinson.

    We previously reported that the Australian government was soliciting public opinions concerning an R18 rating for video games. The government released a paper with arguments for and against the new ratings system so people would be informed before casting their vote. This seemed to be a fair and objective method for consulting the Australian population about an issue that affects them but, now, the whole thing will be moot thanks to Michael Atkinson.

    Atkinson said that the public consultation isn’t fair and the anticipated overwhelming vote in favor will be biased because only gamers will vote. Additionally, Atkinson said that because he has received death threats and abusive emails he won’t change his posture on the subject…

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    Rumor: Xbox might get cable programs

    by Christian Morlotte on Jan 20, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    Microsoft has been in talks with Disney about incorporating some kind of subscription-based channel offering programming from ESPN into the Xbox Live service. This is far from a done deal but the partnership could allow Microsoft to broadcast ESPN shows and also include some kind of interactive games.

    This would indicate that cable networks are seriously thinking about jumping on the console bandwagon. After all, there are tens of millions of possible subscribers – counting Xbox and PS3 owners, who already have the hardware connected in their living rooms – so that would be a lucrative business for everyone involved.

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