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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You know you have to upgrade, when at the same day a program tells you your CPU is to shitty and a new game plainly refuses to start on your pimped-out, watercooled Athlon XP. My system still runs most recent games with decent speeds and with comparably good graphic settings. But it cant hide the fact, that it is still based on an nforce2 chip with an Athlon XP as a CPU. Said CPU lacks SSE2, which seems to be mandatory for certain video-editing programs nowadays (and i should have known since i ran into the same problem at university with the smaller brothers of my CPU and Adobe Premiere [there i said it! Screw you, hidden advertisement schemes]) and may be adverse to performance in any of the latest software offerings on the planet. It's still a fast and rocksolid system, so i ll keep it for music-production in my secondary system, which incidently is an old phillips tube-radio, modded into a pc, so it will be more than fitting there.

Still, it's strange to see an industry force people to switch to newer hardware because they are optimizing their programs to certain computational contraints (e.g. are too lazy to provide backward compatibility). But considering how cheap new hardware is at the moment and how powerful a system needs to be to run the latest games and / or do video-encoding i'm not going to complain. As long as my tax-returns are big enough to ensure a decent upgrade-path, i m a happy camper =)