Category Archives: Video Games

Top News Stories of 2016 (in comedy videos)

No two ways around it – 2016 was a big year. There were a lot of huge stories this year, including the refugee crisis, the Brussels bombings, the Zika virus, the Orlanda shooting, Black Lives Matter protests, a coup was attempted in Turkey but failed miserably, the Rio Olympics, Hurricane Matthew, the death of Thailand’s beloved king, and the ongoing destruction of Aleppo. And we haven’t even gotten to the worst news – “believe me.” But rather than reading depressing news that makes it even harder to get up in the morning, I decided to keep each story light and concise. So let’s look on the brighter side.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Culture, Media, Video Games | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gender, Age, Socioeconomic, and Cultural Differences in Social Networking Site Usage

Anime high school girls in London-esque BG

Online social networks has become an interesting platform for research, and hundreds if not thousands of studies around the world are investigating how we interact with others online. This article looks into recent studies that analyzed data regarding differences in age, culture, gender, and socioeconomic status.

Gender Differences

Researchers from the Santa Fe Institute used a multiplayer game “Pardus” to analyze social networks. Online video games have become increasingly seen as a gold mine of data on social interactions in recent years, and, as it turns out, many of the same gender differences seen in the real world were observed in the social networks in Pardus.

Posted in Culture, Media, Technology, Video Games | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Western Games Are Becoming More Popular in Japan

A decade ago, if you asked a gamer what the best video game ever made was, some of the most popular answers would be Super Mario Brothers, Final Fantasy VII, Chrono Trigger, and Ocarina of Time. These still frequent many lists on the web of the best video games of all time, but what’s really notable is that they were all made by Japanese companies. For many years, the Western game industry failed to make a significant impact on the Japanese market, whereas Japanese companies had success in both markets. But now it appears that Japanese people are picking up more Western titles than ever before, and perhaps Japan’s games are not as acclaimed as they used to be.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Technology, Video Games | Tagged | Leave a comment

Love Plus Imagination – Part 3: Why Visual Novels (and Manga Comics) are More Popular in Japan

“Only a Japanese person would like that…” An ignorant and perhaps subtly racist statement, sure. However, for a different reason, there’s some truth to it when it comes to manga (Japanese comics) or visual novels (a video game genre that entails slow-paced story-telling, lots of reading, and pop-up options that can completely change the course of the game). To be clear, the statement is not true because Japanese people are inherently more inclined to like visual novels; but rather, they are more likely to give such games a chance and overlook issues that most English-speakers/Westerners would not tolerate as easily, because of their culture. The information below will reveal what the English-speaking world is ignorant of in several specific aspects of Japanese popular culture.

Posted in Activism, Culture, Japan, Psychology, Technology, Video Games | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Centenarians: “The Key to a Long Life is Video Gaming”

Apparently the fountain of youth may come with batteries. Recent research suggests that sedentary activities such as watching an hour of TV may take off 22 minutes of your life, but they didn’t say that about video gaming. Physical activity is obviously important, but there are people who thank video games for their mental health. For those who scoff at this activity as just a mindless form of entertainment, it would be best to wait until you hear them speak about it. They may make you change your mind.

Posted in Activism, Biographical, Culture, Japan, Medicine & Health, Technology, Video Games | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Love Plus Imagination – Part 2: Visual Novels

In Part 1, we looked at how simulation games appeal to players. Being the social creatures that we are, gamers often like to engage with others, even in the virtual world. We saw how dating sims are often – but not always – intertwined with “eroge,” (“erotic games”) and how there have been many successes and failures with the genre. Now we’ll turn our sights on the “visual novel” format, which are prevalent in practically every modern dating sim. We’ll look at how the reputation of this gaming genre has been tarnished, and why they continue to be made despite that.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Sex and Sexuality, Video Games | 2 Comments

CG Advances – Part 2: How Close Are We to “Real?”

In Part 1, we looked at the case of the British documentary “Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA,” and how for about 30 seconds, it used footage of a video game instead of the real-life footage which the creators said they had available. The case brings an interesting question to light. No, not “what the hell were they thinking??” but “how realistic are graphics getting?” The following examples showcase some of the best of video game realism we see today.

Posted in Culture, Media, Technology, Video Games | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

CG Advances – Part 1: Getting Realistic, and Already Fooling People

The graphics in video games are improving dramatically every decade. We now have plenty of examples of virtually life-like people and realistic-looking scenery in games. Of course, the in-game graphics (i.e., what you see when you control your character) are usually not as polished as the cutscene graphics (i.e., when you are just watching a video); but some games take pride in using the same graphical technologies for both. However, there are usually tell-tale signs that what you’re watching is nothing more than a CG (computer-graphics) work of art. That is, if you’re a gamer who is used to such graphics. Others are, evidently, fooled by it.

Posted in Media, Technology, Video Games | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Love Plus Imagination – Part 1: Dating Sims and other Simulations

“Thank you for saving me!” she says, planting a kiss on the hero’s cheek. Indeed, the hero who saves the damsel in distress had become the fantasy many gamers wanted to live out in their video games. Of course, books and films had the same appeal – people identified with the heroes, and liked to see the happy ending where “the good guy gets the girl at the end” (though it doesn’t always work out that way). But it’s the virtual world that allowed people to experience and overcome the challenges themselves. They could make mistakes without real risk, while feeling the accomplishment of completing their task. Then, in the 1980’s, game developers started to wonder: Instead of making “getting the girl” the end result, why not make that the entire game? And so we have today a wide selection of what are known as “dating simulation” games.

Posted in Culture, Japan, Sex and Sexuality, Video Games | Tagged , | 2 Comments

“Modern Warfare 3” is Released With a Bang, and Lots of Crime


Video game violence and their effects on youth is a hot topic of psychology research. New studies come out every month – such as the recent study out of Australia which found that players devalue themselves and opponents while playing “Mortal Kombat” – saying basically the same thing: Video games increase aggression, but still don’t necessarily make people violent. This article, however, isn’t about the general research on video game violence. This is about a particular game that came out recently, which has caused a storm of violence.The really crazy thing about this, though, is that the gamers haven’t even played it. They went berserk just over getting their hands on the game.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Culture, Legal Issues, Uncategorized, Video Games | Tagged , | 2 Comments