Video Game Awards Round Up

Tonight, Spike TV graced the gaming world with the Video Game Awards. It was a round up of video game stars, developers, performances by Deadmau5 and the Black Keys, and featured animation to bring the characters of our beloved games to life. I expected it to follow the same format of other award shows. Announce a category, bring in a presenter to announce the nominees, then announce the winner. Although this happened for a few of the awards, a majority of them were just announced by the mysterious narrating female voice. The more prominent awards like Game of the Year and Character of the Year had representatives of the winning game go to the stage and claim their award. For those who went over their allotted time for their acceptance speeches, they were forced to the ground and tea-bagged by Sergeant Lipton. There were also a number of other interesting components to this show.

Backstage with Felicia Day was mini-games galore. There were three games: the Spiderman fling, Fruit Ninja real fruit slice up, and  Little Big Planet 2 cupcake challenge. Each of these games had their own point system that resulted in a certain amount of money that would be donated to Child's Play! That's right, the foundation that I wrote an article on not too long ago that donates video games to Children's Hospitals.

This show took its attendees into account. For instance, it teased the social gamers (Farmville, Castleville, ect.) by showing them focusing on their phones playing games instead of paying attention to the show. Zach also introduced a man known as ThaBlackBaron, a fellow video game blogger. He made this video about his discontent with the 2010 VGAs. Due to this outspoken video, he was invited to the 2011 VGAs and sat right across from the man in charge of the show, whom ThaBlackBaron had threatened in his old video. He then made this video after he felt justice had been served when Skyward Sword was nominated for this year's show.  Maybe one day I too will be recognized by someone big in the industry and be invited to an award show... or convention. Crossing my fingers for E3!

While all of this was going on, viewers had the opportunity to vote online for the NFL Blitz Cover, Character of the Year, Most Anticipated Game, and Trailer of the Year. All of the other awards were previously voted on by an advisory council.

On a random note, Zachary Levi announced that 42% of gamers are now women! YEAH! Sorry, I had to get a little excited about that. Great statistic there. Anyways, let get to the part you all want to hear about.

The results:

Best DLC: Portal 2 Peer Review
Best Downloadable Game: Bastion
Best Performance by a Human Male: Stephen Merchant as Wheatley - Portal 2
Best Performance by a Human Female: Ellen McLain as Glados - Portal 2
Best Graphics: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Best Original Score: Bastion
Best Song in Game: "Build That Wall (Zia's Theme)" By Darren Korb - Bastion
Best Adapted Video Game: Batman: Arkham City
Best Independent Game: Minecraft
Best Motion Game: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Best Fighting Game: Mortal Kombat
Best Driving Game: Forza Motorsport 4
Best Team Sports Game: NBA 2K12
Best Individual Sports Game: Fight Night Champion  
Best Multi-Player: Portal 2
Best RPG: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Best Action Adventure Game: Batman: Arkham City
Best Shooter: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Super Mario 3D Land
Best PC Game: Portal 2
Best PS3 Game: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Best Wii Game: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
Best Xbox 360 Game: Batman: Arkham City
Studio of the Year: Bethesda Game Studios
Game of the Year: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

NFL Blitz Cover: Ray Rice - Baltimore Ravens
Character of the Year: The Joker - Batman: Arkham City
Most Anticipated Game: Mass Effect 3
Trailer of the Year: Assassin's Creed: Revelations

During the acceptance video for Character of the Year, the Joker heavily hinted at the next Batman game plans for Rocksteady Studios when he held up a document that read 'Batman: Arkham World Script.'

Extra Awards:

Game God: Blizzard Entertainment
Gaming Hall of Fame: The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is the first series/game/anything to be admitted into the Gaming Hall of Fame. I started tearing up as soon as the montage for the series began. Scenes from every Zelda game flashed on the screen as the female narrator described the role music takes within these epic games. As soon is it ended, Miyamoto appeared out of fog proudly raising the trophy as Link would raise a newly discovered item. It was magical.

In addition to the awards, there were a number of world premiers for trailers and cinematic introductions for a number of games presented by celebrities. Click the title of each game for the trailer for each game.

The Last of Us - will.i.am
Mass Effect 3 - LL Cool J
The Amazing Spider-Man - Tony Hawk
Rainbow 6 Patriots - Kevin Jonas
Fortnite - Epic Games
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron - Stacy Keibler
Diablo III - Blizzard Entertainment
BioShock Infinite - Felicia Day
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance  - Hideo Kojima

Personally, the coolest was Diablo III. I've never played any of the Diablo games but that introduction made me want to. There are also several other world premiers on the Spike TV premier page. It includes Hitman Absolution, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and many more.

The show concluded with the Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance trailer and a goodbye from Zach. Overall, I was pleased with the awards show and enjoyed the two times I watched it. It wasn't perfect but hey, what is?

Yours truly,

P.S. What did you think about the VGAs?



Last week in my Introduction to Mass Communications class we had a guest speaker who came to lecture us over my favorite topic: Video games! I've been anticipating this lecture since my Professor announced it. When I got to my seat I was practically bouncing with excitement. I didn't expect to learn too much since I am fairly familiar with the video game industry but nevertheless I was still so excited.

 Our guest speaker was a student from the College of Journalism who is currently working on his doctorate degree. His name is Brain Carter. His lecture was a nice change of pace for the class and he was entertaining. His lecture gave a great overview of the video game industry but one part particularly interested me. There was a slide on sexism, something I had expected to appear in this lecture. His endnote on the topic caught my attention.

Games like Duke Nukem, GTA and Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball all have sexist themes in them against women. But what about sexism against men? Right before changing the subject, Brian mentioned the other side of sexism not commonly talked about.

The game is called The Boyfriend Trainer. You play as the girlfriend who is trying to beat her boyfriend into being the 'perfect' boyfriend. Lot of the girls in the room laughed at this, it sounds like a hilarious game right? As soon as he finished describing the game I punched the title into my Google search bar and got ready to play.

In this fantastic game there are four levels in which you click on your leprechaun-looking boyfriend whenever he is committing acts that go against your liking. In the first level you and your not-so-great boyfriend are sitting outside of a cafe, sharing a drink. The boyfriend, who we will call Chad, gawks at the girls every now and then.When this happens you smack him and the 'perfection bar' goes up. To clear the level you have to fill the perfection bar within the time limit.

The game only gets worse from here. Level two features the couple in a living room where Chad goes around throwing things on the floor and you taser him each time he does so. The third level the couple are in a different living room watching television. Every time he changes the channel or drinks wine instead of his juice (I'm surprised it wasn't in a sippy cup) you smack him with a fly swatter. In the last level Chad is finally on a leash. It's time for the couple to take a nice ride - or not. When Chad goes Speed Racer or turns up the music too loud for perfect girl friend's liking, she gives the driver's leash a nice yank, choking him in the process. Yes, lets choke the driver. Once this level is over you have finally trained the perfect boyfriend! Congratulations!

Or not. Somehow this game gained enough popularity for the development of The Boyfriend Trainer 2.

Sexism against men in video games is a rare thing. Although it exists, it has been limited mainly to simple flash games. I'm not saying I would like to see a game like The Boyfriend Trainer on a major console, but it shows how men are also getting their share of sexism.

I'd rather see things like this:

Yes, I know this isn't a game. But you have to admit - this commercial is awesome.

Yours truly,

My little brother, bewarethebetray, is awesome. He requested I make you all aware of that.


MW3 Launch: An Overview

I thought falling in a hole was bad. The MW3 launch event was far more intense than the Gears 3 midnight launch and definitely wetter. Here are some pictures from the night:

Around 9:30 two store copies of MW3 were put into an Xbox and PS3. Through out the night gamers of all ages popped in and out of the store to get a sneak peak at the campaign. A few probably went in to escape the weather. 

This guy held open the door for several hours - a task meant for the GameStop employees. He also handed out flyers and greeted people as they came in the door! This gamer arrived at the store around 6:00 to wait for his pre-ordered copy of MW3 and was first in line.  

One thing I really appreciated about both of the launches I have attended is the tremendously helpful GameStop staff! Bringing a camera into any sort of store can be a risk but these guys and girls invited it. They also were great when disclosing information about what goes on behind the scenes and making sure customers had what they needed in order to get their game. Awesome staff! Also, they remembered me! 

Here are two of the decent pictures I took of the insane weather. I wasn't able to get a picture of the back of the building where a bulk of the people were waiting. I know they got hit the worst, they didn't have a sidewalk to stand on or an awning to stand under. 

I expected this release to be more popular than the Gears release but I wasn't expecting this number of people! There were so many people that the end of the line was right by the doors - just a few feet away from the beginning of the line.


Overall, I enjoyed the MW3 launch better than the Gears 3 launch. Standing in my drenched boots in the cold rain with a hundred other gamers made receiving the game more gratifying. I felt like I earned it. 

Sometime in the next week or so I plan on posting a review on the Elite service. Is it really worth it? 

Yours truly, 

P.S. Did you get the game at midnight? If so, how did it go and what do you think of the game? 

MW3 Launch: 1:11

Game on.


MW3 Launch: 11:50

As if the weather knew it is almost time, the rain dwindles to a calm sprinkle. The thunder still rolls on reflecting the intensity in the gamers' hearts -

Okay but really the weather has calmed down! The thunder and lightning are still going on but at least we'll stop getting wet.

- A man in the crowd during the storm.
Ten minutes left!

MW3 Launch: 11:15

Troops, get ready for wave three. It's hailing.

MW3 Launch: 11:07

Only true fans would sit through this. My boot are soaking wet and the sky is definitely falling. People are screaming and some are running to their cars. Even under the awning I needy umbrella because the wind is so bad. This is where the true fans and the posers are separated.

MW3 Launch: 9:45

Can this get any better? This night is turning into a meteorologist's dream. After several spurts of rain and chilly wind, now an earthquake!?

Okay, it really wasn't that bad. We didn't even feel it. Lets just hope we can avoid tornadoes.

On the plus side it's feeding time for the gamers. Pizza and water bottles are being distributed to customers who have been waiting in line. Now we are just waiting for the trivia to win prizes! At least I hope they have it like they did at the MW3 launch.

MW3 Launch: 8:57

Tonight is going to be crazy. It's been windy all day but it picking up and it's been raining on and off. Luckily, we are being covered by a small awning. For those who didn't get here early enough to stand under it, I hope you brought an umbrella!

On the plus side the employees in GameStop got the okay to put on a few copies of MW3 into their machines. Early campaign? I think yes!

MW3 Launch: 8:01

Alright, I got here about 15 minutes ago and the line is already more than few shops down from GameStop.

The first people who got here at 6:00! Not as early as I thought they would be . They are actually a group I was next to at the Gears 3 launch. Let's see who else shows up!


Cosplay Made Easy

With Halloween just around the corner it's time for us to dig into our pockets and dish out our spare change. This year the Halloween industry has a line of video game inspired costumes that makes cosplaying a simple concept for the whole family.

The most popular character this year is pictured above. Mario costumes have flooded shelves of nearly every store offering Halloween costumes. Certain specialty stores like Party City even offer the female version of the Mario costume. Princess Peach, 'Sexy' Princess Peach, Luigi, Yoshi, Wario, Waluigi, Toad, and female Luigi costumes are also available.

Other popular characters that have hit the shelves this year include:

  •  Halo: Master Chief
  •  Mortal Combat: Sub Zero, Kitana, Mileena, Scorpion 
  •  Street Fighter: Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Akuma
  •  Pac-Man: Pac-Man, Blinky, Pinky Inky, Clyde
  • Pokemon: Ash, Pikachu 
  • God of War: Kratos 
  • Angry Birds: Red Angry Bird, Yellow Angry Bird, Black Angry Bird, King Pig 

Although its great that pretty much any main Mario character and other video game character costumes are available for purchase, the best costumes - or cosplays - are homemade.

One day, I too shall have a family cosplay. My three prospective children will be the original starter Pokemon, I Pikachu, and my husband Ash. It's going to happen.

Yours truly,

P.S. What is your Halloween costume this year?  


Gears Midnight Launch! Pt.2

You all know the golden rule: school comes first. And with that I apologize for the tardiness of this overdue post! I hope you enjoy reading this anyways.

An Overview of the Night

Gamestop does a pretty decent job of keeping it's customers entertained. Last monday night there were three different giveaways of miscellaneous items including: the countdown display, MW3 shirt, a nerf ball, a clown mask, Battlefield poster... and the list goes on. ( I did not receive anything.) Even pizza, candy, and water were offered for free at the front of the line.

Not all of these prizes came free, however. The first round of prizes required contestants to answer rigorous questions about the Gears series. It started out that way until the employee got bored with the provided pages of questions and began to improvise. Questions ranged from 'What's my favorite weapon on COD?' to 'Who was the first emperor of Rome?"

One other thing that was popular amongst the slowly growing crowed was the Xbox stand that had Gears of War 2 hooked up. At first no one dared to approach it but after awhile people warmed up to it. Gamers were playing up until five minutes before midnight!

"You look like you're peeing when you play like that," - Brittany the Girlfriend.

The People

LaBonte's five hours of waiting finally pay off.
The most interesting thing about these events are the people that attend them. There were no cosplayers at my event but I'm sure there were easily found in the bigger cities. Regardless, the attendees were full of life and enthusiasm, especially the ones in the front of the line. LaBonte Doxey and Kirby Reed had stood in front of the shop with their pack of gatorade and a sack full of candy since 7 o'clock.

"I think I've had this pre-ordered since the first day it became an option," said long time Gears fan LaBonte. "I'm most excited for the servers that will make online play better and the conclusion of the series' story."

Although Kirby isn't as hardcore as his friend, he did make an effort for the night aside from showing up five hours early.

"Earlier today I went out and bought this just for tonight," Kirby said as he flashed his brand new Gears of War shirt.

There was another group of attendees that particularly struck my fancy - the girlfriends. Since I've never been one of the girls who just followed their boyfriend to the release party, I decided to see what made them want to come.

"Its better than just sitting back at home alone in the apartment," Brittany said as she watched her boyfriend play on the Xbox. "I do play video games, though. I just don't play much because my boyfriend Mitch hogs it,"

And that is one way a girl's journey to gamer-ness begins. Hopefully, one day she'll become a full-fledged gamer! For those of you boys out there with girlfriends like Brittany, remember, sharing is caring.

The Arrival

"Alright guys, make sure you are lined up. PowerUp card holders make your way forward!" said the man with the Gamestop tag. I think I'm the only one who started squealing and jumping around a bit, but there is no shame in that! It was 11:56 when we took our first steps into the glowing doors of goodness and took our place in the final lines. I was zipping around taking pictures (which you can view below) and before I knew it, they were handing out The Game.

LaBonte stood there at the counter, the very first one in line. As soon as he walked up to the counter the clerk began preparing his bags and LaBonte began joking around with him, hoping to get his hands on the game a bit early. The clerk played around but once it was 12:01, he made sure LaBonte was the first one with the game in his hands. Before he ran out of the store, I was able to ask him one final question: Was it worth it?

"Waiting these past few hours was definitely worth it. Now its time to go kill some Locust!" and with that said, he ran out the doors into the night.

Me geeking out a bit. 
Like everyone else I ran out of the store as soon as that game was in my hands. No sticking around for me! My accomplices and I hastily walked towards my car, cutting through some grass, not paying attention to a thing - bad idea.

"Did you really think you could go to a Gears of War launch event and come out unharmed?" My friend Eric asked me as he pulled me out of a hole. Yes, you read that right, a hole. It engulfed my left leg up to my knee. What's worse is that the hole was filled with warm water that smelled like fish.

With my boot ruined, my sock wet, and the game in my lap, I drove back to my dorm to fire-up the game I ruined my boot for!

Have any interesting stories from your experiences at launch events? Post them here!

Your's truly,


Gears Midnight Launch! Pt.1

Today, International Talk Like a Pirate day was overshadowed by a bigger phenomena: the midnight launch date of Gears of War 3.

As I type these words scores of fans are waiting outside their local Gamestops, Hastings, and other video game retailers all over the nation. It's 9:28 and I myself am waiting outside my local Gamestop.

The lights in the surrounding shops are off but the weather is pleasant. Unsurprisingly, I am the only girl who is actually purchasing the game in this line. There is one other girl, but she's just sitting here with her boyfriend. I'm about the tenth person in line and the glow from the gamestop window is calling my name.

I'll be honest. I did not pre-order the game, but from this I learned some interesting information: you can pre-order a game up until the day before the release date. If the store is holding a midnight launch, however, you can't pre-order it the night of the midnight launch BUT they will sell it to you. You just get to wait in line like everyone else but you won't receive the exclusive content for pre-ordering the game. It's not such a bad deal. I still go the 'I'm going commando' bumper sticker!

An employee just brought out one of the TV stands with the glowing Xbox 360 logo on it. Its time to get our game on!


Charitable Achievements

As I walk around my college campus, I often find myself reminiscing of the elementary school days of playing with shaving cream on our desks, listening to songs about onomatopoeias, and playing computer games that seemed to have more fun involved than learning. One other thing I recall were the  countless school fundraisers. We had various types: selling curly shoelaces, cookie dough, yoyo's, wrapping paper, and even cheeses. One of the more popular fundraisers among the students was a unique fundraiser called Jump Rope for Heart.

Jump Rope for Heart is program that gives the students the opportunity to raise money for the American Heart Association foundation. The students raise donations by getting others to pledge a certain amount of money for every time they skip rope.

This year, Xbox has partnered with the Children's Miracle Network to bring gamers a similar fundraiser. It is called G3, or the Gaming and Giving for Good Charity Event. The way you raise money is exactly the same way you would for Jump Rope for Heart. A friend or acquaintance pledges a certain amount of money and based on how much you play is how much they pay. The event occurs on the weekend of October 1st and offers participants a free Xbox Live Gold membership for the weekend. Full event details can be found here.

After seeing this announced I decided to research what other video game-based charity events there are out there and didn't find too much. Other than some expired events like the Complete-Game Completion Marathon, (A two day event in which participant's video game challenges are broadcasted while other gamers donate.) I found an awesome direct-donation type charity.

The Child's Play Charity has been working with over 70 hospitals around the world since 2003 to donate interactive toys, video games, and other electronics to children's hospitals. They do so by connecting contributors to the hospitals directly with an interactive map on their website. The donor has a unique option to purchase a requested item directly for their selected hospital or to simply donate money to the organization via text, Paypal, or sending money directly. And that's right, you can text a donation! If you text GAMERS to 50555 it sends $5.00 directly to them and will show up as a $5.00 charge on your phone bill.

Although I won't be participating in G3 due to required college events, I definitely plan on making a contribution to Child's Play! These unique ways to help others by sharing the passion of gaming is not only a great publicity for the companies who sponsor them, but also for the gaming society as a whole.

If you plan on signing up for G3 or have other experiences with video game charities, share it here!

Yours truly,

For more information about the Compete-Game Completion Marathon click here. For a direct link to Child's Play click here.


Ah, Politics

With the political storm of 2012 brewing, the paradise we call our video game world is getting sucked in like everything else.

Many of the political games I've found usually involve various presidential candidates fighting it out with special attacks relating to their campaign or personality. Political video games are nothing new. But as far as I know, this one is:

(Click above to see for yourself!)

When the game finally loads (it takes a few minutes), it opens to a  title screen that gives you the option to view the zombies that are included before you start your mission. There are a lot more than I had expected. Big names like Sarah Palin and Rick Perry are included with a few others who are simply alluded to. For example, there is the 'Factory Made Blonde Fox News Barbie Who Has Never Had A Problem In Her Life Zombie' ( aka Megyn Kelly of Fox News).

When you begin the actual game it gives you difficulty settings - something I was not expecting for this type of game. The controls are simple, but for those of you easily susceptible to motion sickness might want to lay off the right and left arrow keys when turning.

The levels are short yet satisfying. Every level moves you onto a new area providing different zombies that suit the surroundings. Between many of the levels, quotes found in articles from the Guardian, New York Times, GreenPeace, and various other groups are inserted to make a statement about the suggested wrongdoings of the Tea Party. These ideas are transmitted into the following level.

Once the zombies overcome you, you receive this lovely message:

Just to throw it out there, I did kill more than three zombies.

This game is good bit of fun. Personally, I don't like the real 'Factory Made Blonde Fox News Barbie Who Has Never Had A Problem In Her Life Zombie' and this is a wonderful way to get rid of that aggravation. But whether you a supporter of the Tea Party or not, this is an interesting look on the way media can be used to promote political beliefs and to poke a bit of fun at it all.

Of course the title and content have turned some heads the wrong way, and for every expected reason. A majority of the zombies in this game come from Fox News, who responded with an article of their own.

Give it a look. What do you guys think about this?

Yours truly,


My Sincerest Apologies..

Life has gotten the best of me. This summer has been intense with me moving out of the house and into a college dorm. With my new location I am hoping that I will able to produce better articles, find cooler news, and simply post more frequently.

So if you wouldn't mind stretching your patients just a little longer, I will have more gaming news and features in store for you!

Yours truly,



In-flight Movie... or Not.

This past Saturday I made my very long departure with my family to venture off to the marvelous land of Hawaii!On our third flight of the day which took us from LAX to Kona, Hawaii, they began to show the recently released movie, Jane Eyre. Having no interest to watch, I neglected the screen. Hours later once the movie had ended and the featured NBC sitcoms had passed, I glanced up to the monitor for no apparent reason and saw a logo that forced me to plug in my headphones immediately into the seat.

 Out of all the programs, especially since it was provided by NBC, I was shocked to see this little baby pop-up. It featured a three minute report on the events that happened this year at E3 hosted by X-Play's Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb. The report included footage of the Wii U, Sony Vita, comments on Uncharted 3 (mainly about its notable storyline/writing) and to throw Microsoft into the mix, a brief mention of Gears of War 3.

Considering this was space for NBC programs, I was surprised to see this little feature included and I'm glad I caught it! Hopefully they'll continue to feature bits of gaming shows (or whats left of them) from G4 that will promote the gaming industry.

Yours truly,


From film strips to pixels

With any major movie release also comes a handy promotional deal for a video game. Even movies as bad as Cat in the Hat get one.

The coolest thing about these games is they give you an inside look before the movie even comes out. A majority of the time the game is released before the movie is. This also as an effective promotional technique for the movie because:

1. Unlike many games, they actually run advertisements for them on television. (Attracts children)
2. The games are often cheaper than the standard video game. (Mom approved)
3. They are widly available. (Mom acessable)
4. Usually have a ESRB rating of 'E' or 'T' (Mom approved)

For some movies, these games can actually turn out to be a success. By being able to target younger audiences, the family is more likely to go see the movie. Also, the games themselves can be successful in design and gameplay. Lego Indiana Jones, most of the Star Wars games, the Harry Potter games and many more provide a hands on experience that you can't get by just watching the movie.

If you haven't played any of these types of games before, I'd suggest you check them out. Most of the games have the same story line of the movie with extra side quests, puzzles, or missions, which add to the experience. They're also great games to go out and rent and finish with a friend because most of them feature a co-op option.

One series that has never failed to please is the Lego game series. From Batman to Pirates of the Caribbean, they have plenty of humor and multiplayer action that is fun for anyone. They're easy games for anyone to pick up and are available for mulitple platforms.

Personally, my favorite were the Harry Potter games. I had them for the Xbox and the PC. It was a marvelous experience to be able to play as my favorite wizards and to explore his world beyond text on a page or images from a movie. What's your favorite?

Yours truely,


Threats and Benefits

The industry that brought you Jelly Car, Words with Friends, and Angry Birds is striking agitation in the hearts of big shots like Nintendo's CEO, Satoru Iwata.

                               Kim White/Nintendo of America, via Associated Press
Satoru Iwata speaks at the Game Developers Conference in San Fransico.

The reason Nintendo is the only company who has made a fuss is because they are being threatened the most by the all-in-one smartphones that can be bought at a cheaper price with even cheaper games. The audience that is often attracted by Nintendo's handheld games can be easily lured away by the games these new smartphones have to offer. Here is a list of a few games that are very similar (or exactly the same game), but for a cheaper price.

Although these games are substancially less expensive, they don't provide the same quality as the DS games, which is the main point Iwata is trying to get across to consumers. The DS versions of the games often have better developed story lines and more game play. Despite these advantages, causual game players are less likely to purchase a DS due to the price difference.

Competitors Microsoft and Sony are taking the opposite approach when it comes to the smartphone craze. Microsoft has developed apps for Windows 7 phones that allow users to access xboxlive. Not only can they check their XboxLive accounts and view their achievements but they can also play exclusive games on their phones with others that can boost their gamer score. Currently, Windows 7 phones are available for major service providers including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. By making this available on a wide varaiety of phones, consumers who own an xbox will probably be more active on Xbox live.

Sony took the most direct attack on the smartphone beast. Catering directly to their fans, Sony has created a phone that completes the smartphone experience while still utilizing their handheld systems. The Sony Xperia Play, released this past April, has all the basic phone capabilities, android apps, and complete PSP controls. Sliding the top layer of the phone up reveals the buttons and analogue touch joystick. (To find out more about this phone, click here.)

Overall, I believe Microsoft has the best approach. Its subtle, yet at the same time more widely available to consumers. Sony's Xperia play is just flat out cool. I personally wouldn't purchase it, but it is unique and I am sure it'll please some of its fans. Nintendo does have a problem on their hands but those who are truly dedicated to its products and games, will keep their handhelds on the map. 

Yours truly,
Havok Rose 


Smartphone advances hurt console gaming industry

The console game industry is being challenged by a growing platform for gaming: Smartphones.
            These phones are widely available and used by 42.7 million Americans, according to a 2010 study by comScore.
Smartphone users are creating an entirely new audience as the demand and popularity for these games grow.
         “It takes away a lot of my boredom and I can just get out my phone and play,” HTC Aria user Amanda Segura said.
            Due to the rising demand for game efficiency on smartphones, Sony has dedicated a new phone entirely to gaming.
            The phone is the Sony Xperia Play. According to the Sony Ericsson website, it slides up to reveal the same gaming controls as the PSP and was released March 2011.
            In addition to this type of phone, developers are equipping other smartphones to have more effective gaming programs that appeal to xbox users.
            “Many of the Windows 7 phones are capable of connecting to their Xbox at home,” AT&T sales associate Brian Luna said. “There are mobile versions of the games that you can only play with these phones.”
            Despite these new developments there is one feature that smartphone users value the most.
            “I like the quickness,” iPhone 4 user Briana Murray said. “It’s only one thing and you don’t have to set it up to play.”
         The ease of access of the games pose the biggest threat to the console game industry Mobiledia reported. However, there are still some people prefer to stick with the console games for detailed reasons. 
         “Smartphone games are very addicting, but you don’t get as involved,” PS3 owner Tricia Workman said.They are basic games that don’t have the full story mode experience.”
        The work that goes into a console game also has a stern advantage over smartphone games and provides a unique experience claims Xbox 360 owner Gilbert Lopez.
         “The average game on a console can take up to two years to develop,” Lopez said. “There are in-depth storylines, graphic designers, and a lot more that make it a long process.”
         The price reflects the immense detail and work that is put into the console games. The average price for a console game is $60 while a large variety smartphone games can be downloaded for free.
            “I don’t spend money on the games I get,” Segura said. “I get their free ones, like a Pokemon one I downloaded. They are still pretty good quality, but not the best.”
           Nintendo President Satoru Iwata has said the inexpensiveness of the games could cause a threat to the console gaming industry, according to Mobiledia. But for others like Murray, it’s a new opportunity.  
“I think [smartphones] help the gaming industry. Its just like another console, you just have different ways to play different types of games,” Murray said.


I apologize. My absence from the blog was due to the fact I was bettering my journalism skills at a camp these past two weeks. On the plus side, I wrote an article for you all about Smartphones and console games. I know its a little rough, but I hope you enjoy it!

Your's truly, 


Conferences Pt. 1


We begin with a darkened video displaying a gridded layout of a city and orders being given over radio waves. Two men begin drilling through an underwater gate.. then the controller disconnects. If the iconic  green and black didn't give the video away, it was the pause menu.

The video continues with swimming followed by more swimming. The impressive graphics don't make the lengthy b-roll any more interesting. This demonstration is saved by the action that follows. 

 Despite their minor mishap and the slightly drawn-on presentation Microsoft was able to start off their conference strong with the presentation Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. This wonderful bun shall be delivered November 8th, 2011.

Other titles that were announced:
  • Tomb Raider  
  • Tiger Woods PGA, FIFA, Madden NFL (K) 
  • Sims 3 Pets (K)
  • Family Game Night 4 (K)
  • Mass Effect 3 (K)
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (K)
  • Gears of War 3 (X)
  • Ryse (K)(X)
  •  Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (X)
  • Forza Motorsport 4 (K)(X)
  • Fable: The Journey (K)(X)
  • Minecraft (K)(X) 
  • Disneyland Adventures (K)(X) 
  • Star Wars (K) 
  • Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster (K)(X)
  • Kinect Sports: Season 2 (K)(X)
  • Dance Central 2 (K)(X)

(K = Kinect enabled. Awful puns were included in the presentation.) (X = Xbox Exclusive)

Surprisingly, voice command was the most popular key feature each game utilized Kinect for, not motion control. This is probably to set it aside from Sony's Playstation Move and Nintendo's Wii. Isn't this something that could have been developed with the headsets that are already linked to the controllers? 

New Features were also announced:

  • Kinect enabled xbox main screen. (Scroll through the menu or use voice control)
  • YouTube
  • Xbox Bing (Searches movies, games, and videos) 
  • UFC Xbox Live (Purchase, bet, and connect) 
  • Xbox Live TV (Coming this fall) 
  • Kinect Fun Lab (Multiple programs made by developers and users that utilize Kinect features) 

Personally, I'm not too thrilled about all this Kinect mumbo jumbo. Especially the voice command. I mean, what if I am trying to have a healthy conversation and my game messes up because I was talking? And if it requires a headset, then the entire advertisement that went with the new voice control feature is misleading consumers into thinking all they'll need is their current Kinect. The headset that would go with it have to be wireless (which would mean a very expensive new accessory) in order to prevent the player from having to plug into a controller which would impede their movement. I am incredibly disappointed that the next Fable is going to use the Kinect, as I will not be able to purchase it because I have no intention of purchasing a Kinect. What a shame. 

However, my disappointment was relieved with an announcement that left me incredibly excited. Microsoft really saved the best for last. 

Oh yeah Bungie, you milk that cow! 

However, Halo 4, of course, will not be the last Halo game. Don Mattrick, Microsoft's President of the Interactive Entertainment Business, said before presenting this video that it was the "dawn of a new trilogy." Hm. We'll see where that takes us!

If you'd like to view the Microsoft conference yourself, click here.

Yours truly, 


First Entry...!

I find it only fitting that I officially start this blog during the holy week of E3. If only I really were there (one day I will be!). Anyways, thank you for joining me in the launch of my first official gaming blog. I hope you enjoy it.

In the next few entries I'll be summing up each of the major press conferences from E3, beginning with Microsoft.

Yours truly,