The following is a work of fiction….

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The scene: two people are arguing in a crummy loft apartment. One dressed all in black with a giant green X painted on his face. The other dressed in black with PlayStation logo painted on his face.

“My console has more graphics than your console and therefore it is better.”

“No my console is better-er because of the graphics and the cloud!!!!”

*BOOM! An arrogant PC gamer bursts in through the skylight with a huge PC tower strapped to his back*

“You all suck balls! I am PC! I have the bestest graphics of them all if you are willing to spend a fortune and constantly worry about game/hardware specs for the rest of your life!”

The arguement escalates and a huge fight ensues. Disks being used as throwing stars. Controllers as small, oddly shaped clubs. Etc.

Outside a mother walks by handing her iPad over to her overweight four year old.

“The password is: IamStupid don’t spend too much on virtual bird bucks.”

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Top Games of This Gen

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Over on the NowGamer Forums, one of my regular gaming haunts, one of the forum members decided to pose the difficult question of asking what everyone’s top games of the current gen are. This was brought about by the looming spectre that is Next-Gen and the impending PlayStation metting on the 20th of this month. Unlike most discussions I’ve seen about best games for the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii era there was a limit imposed, you could only pick three games! So while I cheated a tad and included a long list of Honourable Mentions at the end I agonised over my chosen three games for days. DAYS! I tell you!

So here are my top three games of this generation and my nice list of honourable mentions taken from my response to the forum thread. Also if you are interested in joining a small but very passionate and very friendly community head on over to NowGamer and the NowGamer Forums!

So in no particular order:

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Conversations About Games Episode 6 – Halo 4!

This episode is all about Halo 4! My launch night shenanigans, including my now pending trip to visit 343 Industries! (yes you read that right). Then you have my thoughts on the game, gameplay of me and my friends Matt and Andrew playing Spartan Ops and much, much more. It is all there. All Halo. All the time!

If you have any questions and suggestions please feel free to put them in the comments below.

Link Storm

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What’s that? You like links? WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO???

Introducing your new PlayStation Store

The PlayStation Store over on the PS3 has received a major facelift and despite some early teething problem sluggishness it is actually half decent and well…modern! There have been a lot of changes and tweaks along with a host of new functionality added to the digital store. Luckily the PlayStation Blog has all the details to avoid any major confusion.

Aesthetics of Play – Extra Credits

This week’s extra credits is well worth checking out if your a game designer or interested in game design theory. It basically lays out why we are applying genres to games incorrectly and what can be done to change it for the better. You should also check out the MDA: A Formal Approach to Game Design and Game Research paper that forms the basis of the episode. It is very illuminating reading.

Why Quick-Time Events Work 

Game Informer’s Kimberley Wallace argues why Quick-Time Events are a good thing and I’m inclined to agree with her. The reason why they get such a bad rap is because so many developers miss use them or oversaturate their games with them. They are a great narrative/mechanics tool when used correctly.

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Extra Credits – Harassment

Link: Extra Credits – Harassment

This week’s Extra Credits covers the topic of harassment online in gaming and in particular on services such as Xbox Live. A few ideas are thrown into the melting pot that is the argument about people behaving in the worst way online. They are good ideas but they are nothing more than a stop gap to the issue really. 

To truly stop online harassment and bullying via gaming there needs to be a seismic shit in what both the companies and gamers involved in it do to combat it. The only way to truly stop it is to educate those gamers who are taking part in spreading needless hate. You can have the auto-muting systems talked about in the Extra Credits video but that doesn’t really stop people from just repeatedly setting up new and separate accounts to carry on doing what they are doing.

I’ve experienced a fair amount of abuse thrown my way online over the years. I’m not a particularly skilled gamer, I would call myself average, yet every now and then I will have a good few rounds in a game. Suddenly I am bombarded with messages about how I am a faggot just because I had a good game. Even when I play at my worst I will receive the odd message every now and then. It doesn’t stop there, I even had someone repeatedly send me abusive messages, including voice messages, over the course of a week or so. The reason? I haven’t a clue. The person was purposely trying to taint and ruin my Xbox Live experience because that is what they do to entertain themselves.

When I have talked about it with people in the past most just wave it away as being part of the online gaming experience because you cannot really do anything about it. People will be dicks. But there is a big difference in tea bagging someone’s corpse and sending them a steady stream of hateful, racists, homophobic, sexist and abusive hate messages. One is very much part of the gaming culture at this point that it is has become a joke the other is bullying. Plain and simple bullying.

Conversations About Games Episode 1 – Next Gen

This will be the first of hopefully many videos of me talking about game design and the games industry.

This first video covers my thoughts on the current rumours circulating regarding the next generation of homes consoles, the next Xbox and PlayStation. In particular the always-connected to the internet rumour for the next Xbox and the killing of pre-owned for the next PlayStation.

The format is pretty simple at the moment but hopefully it will improve as time goes on. So please let me know what you think and give me any question, criticisms, etc. both good and bad.