My Son’s Video Game Art and Level Design

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Ashton, my five-year-old son, loves playing video games on his Nintendo Wii. His favorites include Disney Epic Mickey, Hot Wheels: Beat That!, and Wii Sports Resort; he plays the New Super Mario Bros. Wii the most. I’m also a huge fan of the game, and we often team up as Mario and Luigi in the…

Gone, But Not Forgotten: Vector Games

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Although vector technology in gaming lasted less than a decade, some of the designers from the industry’s Golden Era utilized this revolutionary display technology to create classics. Bright, crisp graphics gave vector games a distinctive look and their fast-moving game play mesmerized arcade-goers who lined up to drop quarters for titles such as Space Wars,…

What Video Game Crash?

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Think for a moment about some great video games. Consider coin-ops such as Atari’s vector-graphic Star Wars, Bally/Midway’s James Bondesque Spy Hunter, and Cinematronics’ laserdisc Dragon’s Lair.  Search your memory and recall playing early PC games like Dan Bunten’s M.U.L.E., Bill Budge’s Pinball Construction Set, or Richard Garriott’s Ultima III: Exodus. Return for just a minute…

New Pac-Man Game Coming to ICHEG

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If you’ve seen me grinning as I drop tokens in ICHEG’s eGameRevolution exhibit, you’ve probably concluded I’m a huge retro coin-op fan. Games like Galaga, Tron, and Centipede keep me coming back in hopes of a new high score. In my book, playing “Golden Era” arcade cabinets never gets old. My attachment to these classics…

The Buzz Surrounding Mobile Gaming Apps

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As a video game researcher, I love talking about all sorts of games with all kinds of gamers. Obviously my job at ICHEG affords me many such opportunities to do so. Yet, I often talk gaming with acquaintances who don’t consider themselves gamers. There’s actually a lot of gaming buzz among them—and it isn’t just…

Are You Ready For Some (Electronic) Football?

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As the college bowl season draws to a close and the NFL playoffs begin, I’ve noticed myself playing more simulated football. From classic paper football with my son to Madden NFL 10 with friends, I just can’t seem to get enough lately. Controlling the action in these games seems to help counter the sense of…

Advertising Real-World Products in Video Games

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Whether the advertisements we see all around us are the brainchilds of Madison Avenue or of the local lawn care company, we cannot seem to dodge the onslaught. And it extends well beyond traditional product placements in newspaper, radio, and television.  Corporations now place their advertisements on escalator steps, sidewalk trash receptacles, and even on…

Taking Video Games Outdoors

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As legendary game designers David Crane, Steven Cartright, and Garry Kitchen spoke at the recent Classic Gaming Expo, I couldn’t help but reminisce about some of my favorite Activision titles from the early 80s. As the first third-party developer in the video game industry, Activision released fascinating titles, such as Barnstorming, Keystone Kapers, and Kaboom!,…

Traditional Influences on Digital Media

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As a fan of the hit television series Man vs. Wild on Discovery Channel, I was thrilled by my chance encounter with the show’s celebrity adventurer Bear Grylls at E3. On screen, Bear inevitably finds himself in harrowing situations that test his expert survival skills. Publisher Crave Entertainment is betting gamers will want to walk…

CHEGheads Going to Gaming Paradise . . . E3

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The CHEGheads are headed to E3 Expo 2010. Both a trade show and a celebration of gaming, the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is one of the most talked about industry events of the year. With the opening only a few days away, the E3 excitement is building on…