Watching one of gaming's most well-known faces plummet multiple stories and impale herself on a jagged iron pipe is an uncomfortable experience, to say the least. But wait, she's not done. Nearly sobbing, she proceeds to wrench her unfortunate new appendage from her side while emitting a skin-crawling scream. And that's just the beginning.
The first time I saw the latest Tomb Raider game in action, my heart nearly exploded out of my chest – probably in an effort to escape from the carnage. The rest of my body, meanwhile, wanted nothing more than to follow it. Lara Croft was in pain. Real pain. Blinding pain. Not “Rawr, me videogame character, me shrug off bullet to face like it tiny blind kitten baby” pain. It was ugly, dirty, and downright horrific. And it wouldn't stop happening. Lara constantly fell, slipped, and survived by clawing rocks until her fingernails were bloody scraps. The demo reveled in pain, said many pundits. It was “torture porn,” sharing a straightjacket with movies like SAW and the part of our brains that loves to stare at car wrecks.
I, however, disagree completely. Not only that, I think this is something the gaming industry could use a whole lot more of. Find out why after the break.
Last week, I dusted off my crystal ball and took a long, hard look at the future of gaming. This week, I'm doing it again, because the remainder of Time As We Know It is sort of a lot of ground to cover. On the docket this time around? Everything from games that may actually justify forging your own Dream Machine with parts from the Heavens to the industry's continued, none-too-pretty war against the hacker menace. Read the full thing after the break!
E3 is finally far enough behind us that I can start to make sense of it. Taken all at once – it pretty much sounded like a bunch of ungodly screaming occasionally punctuated by the word “transfarring” (which isn't even a real word). You tried to roll with the punches, I'm sure – to stand before News Godzilla without fleeing while shouting something in badly lip-synced Japanese – but it eventually broke you. So, what happens next? Now that the news/preview/interview barrage dust has finally settled, what does it all mean? Well, since I did one of these things last year and I'm nothing if not a slave to habit, here are a few thoughts on this year's show.
Smart phones perform many roles in modern life, but political tool wasn’t at the top of our list. Fourth of July week is a great time to feature a politically driven app such as Congress by Sunlight Labs.
If by some chance you are unfamiliar with Evernote, you should sell that rock you’ve been living under and visit our Evernote Cheat Sheet. Evernote is a must-have app for every smart phone platform on the market, but if you are a Windows Phone user you’ve probably been making do with OneNote and Windows Live Skydrive up to this point as Evernote has only released their Windows Phone app in the last week or so.
The “maximum” in MaximumPC means doesn’t just mean the fastest speed or the highest ratings—it means more than best. It means pushing the envelope to be the best possible.
As geeks and nerds, we are always striving for the best possible, because we’re never satisfied with where we are or what we have. We want more. That’s everything you need to know about the forward thrust of technology—the unsatisfied human desire to have more, better, and different. In the long stumbling, bumbling, fumbling history of our weird little species, we have invented so many marvelous tools to expand the power of our muscles, but only one tool to expand the power of our brains—the computer.
As a species, for the first time in history, we have the opportunity to be more accurately informed and make wiser decisions than ever before. —assuming we use our technology wisely.
Too often, we forget that the most important component in any system is the user. We forget that we are the authors of our own choices. Even worse, we forget that we actually have a choice.
No one should escape the deflating experience of suddenly feeling old by seeing something they once used now exhibited in a museum. (“Hey, I used to have a rotary landline telephone just like that!”). To bring this discomfort to younger folks than ever before, some enthusiasts in Silicon Valley are founding a Digital Game Museum.
Once a month, I get together with friends for sushi. We call it ‘Sushi-Con’ and we descend on Sun-Sushi, on Reseda Blvd. in Northridge. (It’s an open invitation, check my Facebook wall for the next one. Or follow DavidGerrold on Twitter.) The conversation is generally free-spirited and meanders through such territory as favorite movies, science fiction books, ebooks, rock music, classical music, anecdotes about people not present, interesting scientific advances, current and future technologies, and whether or not the perfect cucumber roll includes oshinko.
A few weeks ago, one of the folks asked for advice on a new computer.
What’s interesting about the shift from an industrial age to a technological age is that we keep inventing new media: movies, records, radio, television, the internet, and now ebooks—and one of the things that’s most interesting about the invention of a new medium is watching it reinvent itself as it penetrates the culture.
In the study of mass communication, we see that a new medium always starts out building on the formats of preexisting media. A couple quick examples:
As movies grew up, especially in the first decade of sound, they went to novels and broadway plays for source material. (They still do. In fact, now they go to comics and TV shows too for ‘inspiration.’)
As radio spread, radio stations went to records and concerts for material to broadcast. Radio networks also went to vaudeville for performers and made stars out of Jack Benny, Fred Allen, George Burns, and others. (This is what killed vaudeville. You could stay home and listen to live performances.) Eventually radio started doing drama, mysteries, soap operas, game shows, and sitcoms.
When television began, it modeled itself after radio.
For more about what technology's history says about ebooks' future, read on!
I want a 3DS. Really badly, in fact. Of all the shiny new tech toys I desperately want to fiddle with at the moment, Nintendo's eye-popping portable is very nearly at the top of the list. I mean, the 3D effect looks stunning, and the brittle dam on my gushing nostalgia practically explodes at the mere mention of 3D updates to Metal Gear Solid 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Call me weak, but the thing's a day-one purchase for me, and I'll be drooling all over the packaging during the drive back home.
It's a damn shame, however, that such a neat little machine's being born into a world that's already passed it by. Sad to say, the game's changed. New players have entered the arena, and Nintendo's not even on equal footing – let alone prepared to trade blows and come out on top. But hell, I almost can't blame Nintendo for its current predicament.