My five favourite
finds for August week 3 all centres around the impact that video games have
on real life issues. Join me for a peek into articles that cover; the flip side
of technological advancement, the tremendous passion and dedication of the Halo
4 crew, the rapid advance of eSports, the pros and cons of video gaming culture,
when publishers go too far with video games realism, and the ability of video
games to capture emotion.
I did a news
article on Capcom’s new IP, “Remember Me”, the game's central theme is the ability to steal and/or alter other people’s memories, in a world that has done away with secrecy and privacy. You
can imagine my surprise when I discovered this article on Forbes about a brain
interface that is currently being developed. It’s an interface where
games, computer operating systems, and prosthetics can be controlled with
thought alone. The problem is that it also accesses private information.
'Mind-Control' Gaming Devices Leak Brain Data That Help Researchers Guess Users' Secrets,
by Andy Greenberg on Forbes Games.
“In this threat model, the attacker doesn’t need to
compromise anything,” Song says. “He simply embeds the attack in an app, such
as a game using brain-machine interface that the user downloads and plays. In
this case, the malicious game designs and knows the visual stimuli the user is looking
at and also gets the brain signal reading at the same time.” Even then, admits
Martinovic, the attacker would need to surreptitiously trick the user’s brain
into calling up whatever data he or she hoped to steal. “The challenge would be
to get users to think about their sensitive information,” he says. “But social
engineering could make that possible. Attackers are creative.”
Up next is an absolutely
gripping video about the journey of making Halo 4. The score beautifully
compliments the overall feeling of passion, which is the trademark of the crew
that worked on Halo 4. Watch it to get a glimpse into the world of Master Chief’s
The next article covers a topic that I am extremely
passionate about, eSports. I believe that cyber athletes should be recognised
alongside other sport disciplines. Read this insightful interview with Daniel
Grzelak, the CEO of Gamer Institute.
League Of Legends And StarCraft II Could Become Olympic Sports As Early As 2020 SummerGames, by John Gaudiosi
on Forbes Games.
"Given the international popularity of eSports and the young
generation of gamers that embrace huge events with large cash prizes, the leap
to playing video games for gold medals isn’t as far-fetched as it may sound.
Daniel Grzelak, the CEO of Gamer Institute, explains why League of Legends and
StarCraft II pro gamers could be vying for Olympic gold medals sooner than you
think in this exclusive interview."
The next article on CNN is a snapshot covering four gaming
related topics; “In South Korea: Skill or Addiction”, “Cracking the Code”, “Where
learning is a game”, “Wiring the world to fight obesity” and “When the game
means freedom”. It looks at the gaming
culture from a few vitally important aspects and is a definite must read.
Gaming Reality on CNN.
"Video gaming is a $90 billion business. Globally, we spend 1
billion hours per year inside games. But this virtual pastime has infiltrated
the real world in unexpected ways. It's powering up our problem-solving."
The following article points out probably the biggest PR fiasco
any video games publisher has ever had. EA gets my vote for facepalm of the
century with the promoting of its partnership with real-world weapons
manufacturers for Medal of Honor: Warfighter by letting players buy the real thing.
EA,guns, and the dangers of brand identity, by Laura Parker on GAMESPOT AU
“What kind of
message is a video game publisher like EA sending when it encourages its
players to buy weapons? The race to create a perfect, all-encompassing brand
identity that infiltrates every aspect of gamers' lives has become of
increasing importance to game publishers. It has also thrown some of the gaming
industry's ethical boundaries into question. What makes it feel so wrong
is that EA has turned the race for brand identity into an obsession. It has
drawn a direct line between a work of fiction and the truth behind it, bridging
the gap between fantasy and reality and in doing so, coming dangerously close
to glorifying not just the bravery of individuals, but the concept of war
itself. There is nothing about endorsing and promoting real-life weapons that
makes Medal of Honor: Warfighter a more authentic game, nothing that advances
the artform or broadens the boundaries of game development. There is nothing
that even entices players to buy more copies of the game.“
My final pick is a heart
breaking review on an Indie game that chooses not to let the player look down
the barrel of a gun, but rather through the eyes of an abused child. Once
again, Indie games prove that it has the profound ability to tell stories that touch
Tired of a gun-barrel world view, by SimonParkin on Hookshot Inc.
Papo & Yo is a semi-autobiographical game about boyhood wish fulfillment –
the hope that a favourite toy might spring to life to become a constant
companion, the dream that houses could be picked up, moved and rearranged with
a flick of the wrist, the prayer that the violence could be squeezed from an
abusive father. It’s a deeply personal game, a creation explicitly designed as
a therapeutic revisiting of the feelings of loneliness, confusion and
desperation Caballero experienced as a child, a story into which we players are
I want to thank the journalists who covered these topics;
you spread the message that video games are not just about frivolous entertainment.
You highlight that we are also an industry where we hold each other accountable, where
we scrutinize our peers and that we are in an industry that seeks to improve life on multiple
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