Why Weapons?
Written by Lutzifer   
Freitag, 14 Dezember 2007
ImageWhile cynics and conservative culture-critics usually attribute the use of weapons in games as signs of a moral decline, there are other reasons why weapons have played such a big role in the video gaming industry. My preferred argument to counter such criticism is a historic observation: video-gaming is a new form of entertainment and every single new invention in that field has led to mockery and scorn from the older generation in human history. This reflex to shun and sneer at cultural innovations / deviations can be dated back as far as Plato and Socrates (shown in expressions of alarm over the ways of the youth) and in most recent history one can find big debates readily available about the evil of pulp-fiction, radio and tv. Usually the ones who argue the hardest against innovations are also those with the least amount of knowledge and experience with them, because they see themselve morally opposed to them. By embracing the video gaming-culture some answers can be found to why weapons have been so predominant in games....
Last Updated ( Donnerstag, 20 Dezember 2007 )
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Put your dukes up!
Written by Lutzifer   
Donnerstag, 20 Dezember 2007
ImageFinally we get some new info on the long awaited duke nukem forever that single-handedly forced the invention of the term vaporware (head over to 3drealms.com for pics and teaser-trailer). Can it be coincidence that on the same day the german government is tightening legislature on violent games, so that violent video games can be more easily banned? I haven't had the time to check out what the changes will mean for game-publishers and customers in particular, but rest assured, the german government usually knows how to screw up laws, so i bet it wont be pretty for anyone involved. Especially since most politicians involved seem to have no clue regarding video-games. That is not to say, that legislature on violent games cannot be beneficial for our culture and especially young gamers / children. I guess i ll have to do a banned-in-germany article-series to discuss all the issues and games that are banned. But until then, put your dukes up against political idiocy worldwide and always bet on duke ;)
Last Updated ( Donnerstag, 20 Dezember 2007 )
 
Th.o.R: Thoughts on Reviewing #1
Written by Lutzifer   
Mittwoch, 05 Dezember 2007
ImageI had planned to do an article on the veracity of the reviewing-process later this month, but since the gamespot-incident made it newsworthy, i have moved it up the schedule. As Mike Krahulik pointed out quite honestly, game reviews are fundamentally flawed. What once has been a pivotal point of social interaction has now become a professional endeavour, turning a friend's recommendation into a business-model. With gaming magazines that has been painfully clear for ages now and i found refuge in the internet for some years to help me make informed guesses as to what is playworthy or not. But the internet-reviewing sites have evolved from enthusiast-driven sites to big businesses also, so we are at square one again. In the following article i will discuss some of the underlying issues with reviewing and try to outline how to make the best off a flawed system.
Last Updated ( Dienstag, 08 Januar 2008 )
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There seems to be yet another contestant in the ring for the big video-game-violence debate. This time it's a harvard study, that is rather positive towards what conservatives and others seem to consider the scourge of the new millenium. I havent read the study yet, but from the title and the release-date alone, i d rather be sceptical, as it looks like they are trying to jump on the bandwagon of the GTA IV release hype. Since i m also very sceptical about any study that seems to be politically motivated and / or which use uni-causal reductionist arguments to blame video-games for the evils of the world, i m also pretty interested to read it. The excerpts presented on their website are nice to read and seem to be garnered towards practical parenting advice, and seem to hit the right chords imho. So, if you are a worried mother or father and dont want to wade through all the FUD that is generated by people with political agendas and / or bad research papers, give this a shot. Or even better, just try to play some games with your kids and talk about them and the way your kids actually feel about playing them. Because gaming is a great social experience and everybody benefits from getting a little perspective when otherwise being left alone with emotionally challenging material. So, no matter if you re playing it safe (*g*) and getting some professional advice from a book like this one, or if you re more inclined to try to understand your children on your own, dont forget to have some fun by playing some games with the kids while doing it ;)