Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Role Playing Games (RPG) Lead in Performance for 2011

In the video gaming arena this year quality has been outstanding for both Shooter Games and Role Playing Games but hands down RPGs have come out the big winners. RPGs offer huge canvases with highly detailed and complex worlds that you will travel through and in the process you create the hero that is your character. Players take responsibility for acting out and developing these characters through a process of structured decision-making. Real dialogue by actors behind the mythic characters heightens the reality of the experience. It may mean a longer journey (hundreds of hours) in comparison to the Shooter Games but the journey is enhanced with unexpected discoveries and strange new worlds.

Best In Class: Skyrim, It has just been awarded the ‘Game of the Year ‘at the Spike VGA Video Game Awards on Dec 10th.  Over 10 million copies have been shipped out and that means a hell of a lot of dragons. Another top of the RPG class is Witcher 2, the graphics are amazing and the story a complete adventure. If this RPG is not hard enough for you, play Dark Souls. Get ready to be thoroughly challenged. Dark Souls is probably one of the hardest games out there. Put in some effort and you will feel fully satisfied when you succeed in your journey. In a different game genre (action/adventure) Uncharted 3 and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations are just as deep, not as long but just as much fun. This story would not be complete without mentioning two other classic and continually enjoyable RPGs The Legend of Zelda and Dragon Age II.

I find RPGs provide a greater personal investment in the play experience than any other video game experience. RPGs rely on character progression and I love it. There are some amazing AAA Shooters (First-person and third-person) games out there including Battlefield 3, MW3, Ghost Recon, Gears of war3, Rage, Halo, Prey2, Resident Evil, F.E.A.R 3, Payday. They play across large canvases as well but ultimately they can become repetitive and boring losing the edge that RPGs have now gained.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Video Gaming, Fringe or Mainstream - Can It Be a Family Affair?

Right now it is fair to say that most people are wishing for at least one Tech Toy or Game for Christmas. Schools have typically been unsupportive of video gaming. “Anti-social, leads to low academic performance, violent and conducive to introverted behavior”. Hmm… can this be the truth behind a multi-billion dollar entertainment industry?

First, video game production is an exciting, sophisticated, complex industry that involves every kind of expert. Video games are highly creative which is what draws the audience to them in the first place. Someone who doesn’t like doing homework is ‘sure as hell’ not going to sit down in front of some video console unless they really want to. Video games open up whole new worlds that gamers can step into. Video games are highly instructive allowing the gamer to experience events or contemplate them in a dimension out of harms way.

I am a Dad, soccer coach and work in the entertainment industry.
Julien Pierre (10), Sebastien (13) and I have been playing for a while now but every time we buy a new adventure game (Uncharted 3, Assassin’s Creeds) the phenomena recurs. We sit together in front of that TV screen for hours, cheering for one another, sharing the remote control, exchanging turns, commenting on level difficulties or on graphics quality. Triggered by the amount of energy and passion even mom will join the party.

It is true that most times after dinner we gradually migrate to different individual activities, TV, iPad, Iphone, PC. It’s not hard to misinterpret such moments as evidence that technology has become an alienating force in the contemporary home. I remember watching black and white TV programs with my parents, we all had conversations during the commercials, even if it was just to say, “Wasn’t that stupid?” Then again, the popularity of television led to decades of ‘experts’ questioning its negative impact. There is nothing passive about video gaming and it is nothing like ‘watching TV’. I haven’t got an avatar yet but I’m working on it and there are several of the ten top video games on our list.


Friday, 2 December 2011

It’s All About You – Cyber Love & Attention J

Even the simplest strike on your keypad is significant.  Who’s wooing you? Twitter, Facebook, Google and YouTube lead the pack as the most aggressive and determined suitors. They crave your attention. Oh, but wait a second, what about ‘Linkedin’ with millions of subscribers flocking to the site everyday? That boring little site for business connections is rocking. As soon as Linkedin connected Twitter and other media links things started to hop. Social media, a term that many people really had not heard prior to Facebook, has at lightening speed become the single most important mass communication system ever. Some people are still trying to pretend it does not matter to them but even if you don’t use Social media you are (oh happiness) probably mentioned somewhere. At the very least it will follow you to the grave and your obituary will pop up to haunt you.

Tweeting used to be a joke, the inanities exchanged where pathetic and the purpose of twittering seemed basically to assure yourself that you had a heartbeat. Not so today with over 50 million Twitter subscribers and an intelligent advertising plan to funnel dollars right down the pipe. YouTube has jumped in with a completely new, very user friendly landing page that is scientifically planned to maximize your time on the site and encourage your feedback. Broadcast yourself, Favourite, Subscribe, Recommended…all so inviting.

It used to be really tough to get people to respond to anything but social media has cut straight through this reluctance. People have been encouraged to reveal things to a social media site that they would never in their wildest dreams have had the courage to do otherwise. Advertisers tried to downplay the importance and impact of the social media arena and even as late as last year many companies still had their heads in the sand. Good Luck to that plan. 

Just in case you don’t really understand social media just press the right link on any of these sites and Zoooom … your pictures, contacts, tweets, likes, age, location, sex and in fact things you did not even know about yourself are now public knowledge. You can suddenly connect to everyone ever in your emails with a simple press of the Connect button. It is tantalizing. Real people check out these posts and respond pretty instantly. It used to be so irritating to have telemarketers interrupt one’s few peaceful moments at home. Now we hear a bling and we are ready to interrupt anything (including sex) to see who has found us in cyberspace. The internet and all its attributes and distractions is fabulous. Hurray for social media and the great creators using it. You will never be ignored again.