Tag Archives | Video Games

Arcade Anthems

Ronnie James Video Games Last Thursday night Antonia and I were watching the video for Lana Del Rey's "Video Games." Antonia pointed out that it was one of the first earnest video game songs she could recall — as most songs about arcade attractions are parody's or novelty songs; campy cantos to clanging coins. So, we Googled "video game songs." While not every song or video on this Kotaku list is as compelling as the next, I recommend sampling every one of these finds — they range from early rap to Kraftwerk-ian synth scores to disco funk to...er...Joe Walsh. To get you started, here are a few of my favorites... Check out this mysterious 1980's duo with their take on "Video Games."
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YouTuber Raps About the Illusion of Free Will As Commentary to Call of Duty Video Game

YouTuber CamperKillerCommentary has released a video in which he raps about scientific experiments that cast doubt on the existence of free will over footage of him – I assume it’s him – playing the popular first-person shooter Call of Duty. And no, I haven’t the foggiest clue how all of this fits together. Apparently it’s the 26th in a series.

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Documents Reveal NSA Targets “Leaky” Apps Such As Angry Birds To Spy On Smartphone Users

Are virally popular, addictive phone games nothing more than a fiendish plot to get us to install spyware on our devices?The latest from the Snowden document trove via the Guardian:

The National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have been developing capabilities to take advantage of “leaky” smartphone apps, such as the wildly popular Angry Birds game, that transmit users’ private information across the internet.

The data ranges from phone model to personal details such as age, gender, current location (through geolocation), education level, sexual orientation – one app recorded even specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.

One mobile ad platform, Millennial Media, appeared to offer particularly rich information. Millennial Media’s has partnered with Rovio on a special edition of Angry Birds; with Farmville maker Zynga; with Call of Duty developer Activision, and many other major franchises.

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Video Games Change How You Dream, Increase Lucid Dreaming

video games Are video games dreaming practice? The Verge writes:

Gackenbach is a psychologist at Canada’s Grant MacEwan University and arguably the world’s preeminent expert on how video games can impact dreaming. “The major parallel is that, in both instances, you’re in an alternate reality, whether a biological construct or a technological one,” she says.

In her most recent paper, published in the latest issue of Dreaming, Gackenbach and her colleagues solidified a key earlier finding: that so-called “hardcore” gamers (characterized by regular playing sessions of more than 2 hours, several times a week, since before the third grade) were more likely than their peers to experience lucid dreams.

With subsequent studies she has also found that during lucid dreams, gamers had control only over themselves as a character. They were also able to toggle between first and third-person point-of-view.

She’s also noted in other studies that some heavy gamers seem to be non-plussed by dreams that would qualify as nightmares.

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Advergaming: Instilling Corporate Logos Through Video Games

brandsCluster Mag on corporate branding inside the virtual worlds of video games:

Video games offer particularly lush marketing opportunities because they allow us to exist as agents in the digital beyond, a fantasy realm we’ve merely glimpsed through other media.

Once upon a time, a couple of consumer food brands partnered up with video game moguls like Capcom, Sega, and Nintendo to develop new games starring their bizarre spokescreatures like the jazzy, anthropomorphic California Raisins and Chester Cheetah.

Since the prehistoric days of advergaming, the transparent strategy of monopolizing the game world through an embodied mascot has mostly been ditched for a more savvy attempt at realistic product placement.

Several recent games go so far as to make the searching out and identification of brand names its central task, including Fashion Finder: Secrets of Fashion, in which 150 fashion brands participated, and Brandmania: Hidden Objects, an app created for the iPad, which sends players to different cities around the world to identify major brand logos “hidden” in realistic scenery.

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NSA And CIA Infiltrated World Of Warcraft And Second Life To Spy On Gamers

gamesIs that elf watching you? ProPublica reports on fascinating classified documents unearthed from Edward Snowden’s trove revealing that NSA and CIA spies have placed numerous avatars in popular virtual realms:

Not limiting their activities to the earthly realm, American and British spies have infiltrated the fantasy worlds of World of Warcraft and Second Life, conducting surveillance and scooping up data in the online games played by millions of people across the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents.

Fearing that terrorist or criminal networks could use the games to communicate secretly, move money or plot attacks, the documents show, intelligence operatives have entered terrain populated by digital avatars that include elves, gnomes and supermodels.

The spies have created make-believe characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers, while also collecting data and contents of communications between players.

But for all their enthusiasm — so many CIA, FBI and Pentagon spies were hunting around in Second Life, the document noted, that a “deconfliction” group was needed to avoid collisions — the intelligence agencies may have inflated the threat.

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Timothy Leary’s MIND MIRROR Computer Game

Can you handle performing a mind-scope of your subconscious? Create a mind map of your bio-energy? Become part of the first generation in know how to control your own nervous system? Just pop in the floppy disc:
Timothy Leary designed MIND MIRROR for Electronic Arts in 1985. MIND MIRROR empowers users with psychometric routines of the type Dr. Leary pioneered earlier in his career in a funny and insightful role-playing game. MIND MIRROR is both a game and a self-coaching tool. Play as yourself, someone else, an object, or even an idea to gain the clarity of MIND MIRROR.
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Neil Gaiman’s ‘Wayward Manor’ Video Game

Screen Shot 2013-07-25 at 11.08.55 AMNeil Gaiman, everyone’s favorite comics author, once again pushes into other media territories with his first video game, “Wayward Manor,” reports Mashable:

Horror-fantasy icon and best-selling author Neil Gaiman is stepping into a new world: a virtual one. The British-born writer has announced the launch of his first video game, Wayward Manor.

Inspired by Gaiman’s love of both supernatural and slapstick genres, the game follows the misadventures of a ghost who wants nothing more than a peaceful afterlife, and to kick out the motley crew living in the house he once called home. A gothic New England estate is the setting, with the storyline running from the 1920s all the way to the not-too-distant future. As the ghost tries harder and harder to get rid of the squatters, he also unravels the mystery of his own death and the after-life.

“It’s light hearted, its goofy, it’s nice to flip points of view,” says Gaiman, who was tight-lipped with details, but did tell Mashable that films like Arsenic and Old Lace, The Man Who Came To Dinner, and living in New England inspired him.

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