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An Art For All Ages

By Arclayn on June 18th, 2009 under General,

How many of you, when growing up, were heavily criticized for playing video games? I mean beyond the usual, "You've been playing that game all day, go outside and get some sun!"

For me, I got it from all sides. My father thought it was a waste of money. My mother forced a two hour limit on playing games per day, even on vacations. Nearly all my schoolmates publicly ostracized me as one of them weirdos known as "geeks". One of my uncles thought that video games were a fad and should be outlawed. One of my aunts still gives me childish crap over "playing Nintendo" even though over a five year period, I spend less money on video games than she does in cable television!

Ok, ok... I'll take a pill to stop the belly-aching. {GULP} Yummy! Artificial fruit-flavored chalk!

What I'm getting at is that gamers, in many places, do not get much respect. However, for those gamers, there is vindication! A couple years ago, my dearest significant other, also a gamer, had to write a college-English research essay as a persuasive argument on one controversial topic. One of the topics available was "Are video games bad for children?" Her assignment was to take one side or the other and defend it with research attributions. After a couple months of blood (papercuts), sweat (AC didn't work) and tears (eye strain), she had enough research material to not only defend that video games are beneficial, but also show those benefits have artistic, intellectual, and cultural value!

Joshie is kind enough to allow a PDF of the research to be hosted on Late to the Party (thank you!). I invite everyone to read the paper, which can be found here, and also a link exists on my personal blog.

Arclayn

P.S. Given the blood, sweat, and tears shed, my dearest significant other humbly asks that her work not be plagiarized. Thank you.

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When is it time to call it a series?

By Brian on May 27th, 2009 under General,

I'm reminded of this particular question in recent days, having seen and/or played to completion two games for PS3: Metal Gear Solid 4 and Resident Evil 5; the latest installments in their respective series. Both of these series have been long established in the timeline of console games--Metal Gear began over twenty years ago, while Resident Evil got its start in the early days of the first PlayStation, back in 1996. Capcom and Konami have done, by and large, an amazing job with each new installment of these games, and have successfully done what can be a very hard feat in the gaming world: continue along the same story over many games, and in these cases, also over many years. Certainly with the advent of new consoles and new technologies, each successive game aspires to be better than the previous title. And almost certainly, if you've been a fan of a continuous series--ANY continuous series-- since game one, it can be difficult when it finally comes time to end the series.

I feel that, as a fan of a long series like Metal Gear or Resident Evil, once the questions and plot holes raised in the earliest games finally get resolved--once, really, all (or nearly all) the major questions and plot holes come to resolution--the series should end--no more games should be made for the series. I'm sure I'm not the only fan who thinks this--I mean, while it's nice to have more games and keep the story going, there comes a point where it becomes overkill, or the series goes in a direction that's so above and beyond what's been established that you lose fans--Dino Crisis and Mortal Kombat are a couple that spring to mind, examples of series that went to overkill. Final Fantasy, despite spitting out a new game every so often, re-invents itself with each numbered game. Every single game in the numerical series (save for FFX and X-2) are unrelated. Each game has its own unique plot; otherwise, I'm sure I'd be sick of the series by now. By inventing a new story with each game, I continue playing the series.

gameoverMost who know me as a gamer know that I value the plot of a game over any other facet. Game play, music, mechanics, graphics are all important, I admit, but for me…how good of a story does the adventure provide? Does it grip me? Move me emotionally? Does it leave me with an urge to not put the controller down? Or does it make me want to toss the game five minutes into it, like Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass? I can put up with horrible game play and horrible controls if the story's good--I'm looking right at you, Xenosaga Episode II--but, if the story sucks, all bets are off. And this is why I'm hoping that Resident Evil and Metal Gear end right here. In the latest installment of Resident Evil and MGS, the story as we know it comes to its end. Everything finally comes to its resolution in a coherent and well-presented way. The endings left me quite satisfied, with hardly anything lingering. The stories were amazing. And this is why I hope that no more games are made with these plotlines--where else can they possibly go? Everything's resolved.

Unfortunately, we know the reality of the situation. Series and franchises like these are cash cows for their respective developers, and they will be milked for every penny they can get. Final Fantasy VII, for starters, keeps getting wrung. I just hope that future games don't destroy the great stories that have kept us playing over the years and across consoles. But we'll see.

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Hello stranger. What're ya buyin'?

By Joshie on May 18th, 2009 under General,

It is with great pleasure that I welcome one and all to the best online video games blog in Saudi Arabia. In these ye ol' parts you won't find much in the way of breaking news and it's highly unlikely that we will actually put a review score on something (honest to God, it's not because we're lazy, it's just that we couldn't agree if our scale should go up to eleven). Instead we brush away the politics and fanboy arguments to concentrate on the only thing that truly matters; the pornography games.

Its shockingly cozy ya know?Unfortunately, renting a beached oil tanker in the middle east as your head quarters isn't nearly as cheap as certain newspaper ads would have you believe, and as such we wouldn't quite describe our situation in the horrors of an economic downturn as "rollin' in bling". So you'll forgive us if we are a little behind the times, and don't be surprised if we discover an incredible retro game some decades after its original release. Secretly some of us might just suck at completing games in a timely manner, but whatever the reason for being a little "late to the party", it doesn't stop meaningful discussion being any less relevant.

You might even learn something. Unlikely, but it's nice to want things.

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Obligatory post

By Joshie on May 18th, 2009 under General,

First!

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