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WSJ on Casual Games

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece on casual games, especially via the iPhone. Regular visitors to this site probably know a lot of it already, but it’s worth a read.

I was particularly intrigued by the point about positive encouragement, which is pretty unique among “casual games” — and most definitely absent from “hardcore” games like Halo and Gears. (Although a case could be made that Call of Duty has begun introducing some of this with the “Comeback” points and etc.)

Like many casual games, Angry Birds uses positive reinforcement to make players feel good when they succeed: After a player lays waste to all the pigs on a level of the game, a raucous wave of cheers goes up. Other than the gentle mocking of the pigs, Mr. Hed says, “our game doesn’t really punish players.”

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I’ve always enjoyed Bill Amend’s comic FoxTrot. He recently did a comic about Kinect. (Click for the full-sized version.)


Hacking Kinect

The New York Times had an interesting piece recently about people using Kinect for creative new unintended purposes.

Philipp Robbel combined an iRobot device and the new Microsoft controller that can recognize gestures. He calls it the KinectBot. Theo Watson and Emily Gobeille created a puppet show using a Kinect. Mehmet S. Akten uses the system to draw in 3-D. [...]

Companies respond to this kind of experimentation with their products in different ways — and Microsoft has had two very different responses since the Kinect was released on Nov. 4. It initially made vague threats about working with law enforcement to stop “product tampering.” But by last week, it was embracing the benevolent hackers.

A very interesting video from experimenter Oliver Kreylos after the jump.

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The Veteran Gamers Episode 46 – It’s Good To Be Deadly…

Welcome to show 46.

This  week Chinny gives his views on Vanquish, The Daddy talks about Pac Man Championship Edition DX, Rage HD on the iPhone and some more Deadly Premonition and Duke, well Duke just plays more Black Ops.

Quanrian gives us SFG Office Brawlers to play, we also discuss what makes us and the community buy games and

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Gran Turismo 5 Review Round-up : Was It Worth The Wait?

So after years in the making and many delays, Gran Turismo 5 is finally available to buy and it’s still 2010!

The question is, should you bother?

Well lets round up the reviews and see what they had to say.

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Midnight Launches: why bother?

Francis Bacon wrote: ‘If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.’ This grand Renaissance man had evidently never been to a midnight launch for the latest Call of Duty offshoot, or console launch. Had he done so, he would have found something quite the reverse of what the media, and those insidious corporate PR hounds, would have us believe. Times Square, or London’s Oxford Street, brimming with lines of wholesome, handsome gamers, as well as numerous beaming and beautiful gamer girls? All of them unified and chatting in some surreal version of a brotherhood of gamers? Not in the real world, my friends. Midnight launches are an awkward, antisocial and horrendous torment. Worse even than the collected films of Jason Statham, and his lethal receding hairline.

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The Veteran Gamers Episode 45 – We Don’t Play Blops?!

Welcome to show 45.

This week Duke has a confession, plays Rockband 3, Singularity and gives up on Saboteur. Chinny plays Apache and The Daddy finishes Undead Nightmare and gives his views on Deadly Premonition; is it good, bad or both at the same time?

Quanrian give us Nuclear Wasteland 2030 to play, and in the middle of the show

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