Queer Mechanic is a regular feature here on GayGamer – each month, we’ll be presenting a new game mechanic that could be used in games that include or focus on queer identity or culture. Queer Mechanic is a thought experiment, to see both what we cou...
When Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us took the gaming world by storm last year, some gamers were surprised to find that a major supporting character was gay. Bill, the gruff old man that players encounter during the main campaign, was a refreshingl...
My apologies for the linkbait-y sensationalist title, but it’s worth noting that very few AAA games prominently feature queer characters in any major roles, let alone playable ones. Sure we have characters like Poison and virtual-Darren Young, ...
Over on GamesOnly.com Dutch game dev Robin Ras has released Putin’s Olympic Game, a title designed as protest against the Sochi Olympics and host country Russia’s anti-gay laws.
The game sees players controlling Russian President Vladimir...
Have you found yourself sitting on a great idea for an article or a feature about video games? Board games? Cosplay? Got something to say about queer issues in gaming? Or maybe you’re just really passionate about a certain series or character?
For the past two years there has been one invention grabbing the attention of game developers everywhere: The Oculus Rift. The Kickstarter-funded virtual reality headset is being touted by many as the next big thing in interactive entertainment. Ever...
Not too long ago—just over a year now, in fact—I got addicted to board games. It was a realm I’d heard of a bit but never really explored. However, once I started playing, I realized the significant potential that these games could have, potential that rivaled or sometimes even exceeded the power of video games. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Board games? Gross. I got bored with Monopoly a long time ago, I’m sure it’d be just as boring now.” You know, you’re right! Monopoly sucks. It’s a game made decades ago for a different audience. However, Monopoly is not what I’m here to talk about. What if I told you that since the new millennium, the number and type of board game titles being produced has increased astronomically, and I’m talking about unique titles, not just more reskins of Chess. You see, back in 1995, a German designer named Klaus Teuber created a new board game called The Settlers of Catan. Catan was the first in a new wave of board games. Some might even call it a board game renaissance.
New research published online in Nature has shown that the inevitable cognitive decline associated with ageing can be greatly reduced by playing a challenging video game.
Backing up previous research(and the whole idea behind Brain Age) showing that video games could improve brain function in older adults, researchers from the University of California San Francisco have shown that memory, attention span, and the ability to multitask can all be improved among adults from 60 to 85 years old by playing a game called NeuroRacer custom-designed to continually increase the challenge and complexity of the game as players improve. The researchers first found that the ability to play the game decreased steadily among participants by age category, from those in their early twenties to those in old age, but then found that after playing twelve hours of the game over four weeks, participants between 60 and 85 improved to the point that they performed better than a control group of twenty-somethings. Moreover, this effect lasted for six months after the end of the study.
The experts are, of course, advising that this is only preliminary research – but I, for one, hope this means my Mario Kart skills will keep me out of Shady Pines for a few more years.
I haven’t really been into Pokémon for a while now, but the revelation by Nintendo that in the upcoming 3DS titles Pokémon X and Pokémon Y(releasing October 12 worldwide) you will be able to choose from the classic starters Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle actually reached deep down inside me to poke at my nostalgia button and actually get me super-excited about a new iteration in the series. Sigh. I’m such a cheap date.
I’ve always been more of a fan of the classic Pokémon, so all the new creatures left me cold since I kept wanting to see my old favorites again. And obviously I will be choosing Squirtle again. Because that’s how I roll. There is a new twist, though, because now once you’ve evolved them to Venusaur, Charizard or Blastoise, you can then use a Mega Stone to Mega Evolve them in battle into Mega Venusaur, Mega Charizard, and Mega Blastoise. It’s Mega.
Also, with this new entry in the Pokémon franchise, Game Freak has developed a 3DS app called Pokémon Bank which will allow players to store up to 3,000 of their pets on the Internet. These 100 boxes of Pokémon are in addition to the storage boxes in the game. The only catch is that there is an annual service fee (to support server maintenance), so I’m thinking I’m not gonna splurge on that one. Only truly dedicated Pokémon trainers will apply, I’m thinking. On the plus side, though, they’ve also created the Poké Transporter app, so if you are paying for the Bank, you’ll be able to easily transfer your Pokémon from previous DS titles into your Pokémon Bank. There will be a free trial period, if you’re curious but wary.
And in a move that should surprise absolutely nobody, Nintendo also announced that there would be two specially-designed 3DS XL systems that would be released on September 27 for $199.99 each. They feature imagery from Pokémon X and Y, come in red and blue, and feature the brand new Legendary Pokémon Xemeas and Yveltal. They don’t, however, come with the game, which is weird. Why not release them two weeks later and include the game?
There are still plenty of BritPop acts I would like to see more songs from in SingStar, but this week’s SingStore Update is actually pretty good. There are two tracks from queer icon George Michael, and one from the awesomely divalicious Tina Turner. Here’s what you’ll find for SingStar DLC this week:
“Swagger Jagger” by Cher Lloyd
“I Want Your Sex” by George Michael
“Outside” by George Michael
“River Deep, Mountain High” by Ike & Tina Turner
“You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties” by Jona Lewie
Despite the wonderfully gay video for “Outside,” I don’t like it as much as “I Want Your Sex,” so I won’t be getting both of those. And while I’m sure that much like “Nutbush City Limits” I will never be able to sing a classic Tina tune well enough to get a decent score, I simply can’t resist “River Deep, Mountain High.” I just can’t. Unfortunately, having downloaded “I Want Your Sex,” I am sorry to report that during one brief section of the song, the onscreen lyrics don’t actually match up to what is being sung in the song. It’s just a couple lines, but it’s really distracting and annoying. Not sure what that’s all about…
Mega Man has taken a lot of hits in the last ten years: Mega Man 10 came out in 2010; Mega Man X8, came out in 2004 and ended with a cliffhanger; and the highly requested Mega Man Legends 3 was cancelled in 2011. There hasn’t really been a lot to excite Mega Man fans recently (Except for this gem). To make matters worse, Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune left Capcom in October 2010. It seemed like we might never see another amazing Mega Man game again.
If you’re a Kingdom Hearts fan who lives near Disneyland in California, you’re in luck, because Square Enix has announced a very special launch event for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX! Naturally, it’s going to be held in a Disney location, specifically the Downtown Disney District at 1313 South Harbor Blvd. in Anaheim, CA, and will start at 12:00 pm on Sunday, September 8 and run until 6:00 pm.
Of course, for the whole six hours, you can enjoy demos of the game, take photos in the themed photo booth, enjoy entertainment from Radio Disney, and be a part of the “ReMIX The History Of Kingdom Hearts” interactive game-themed mural (whatever the heck that is!) But you might want to get there a littie more on the early side because Squeenix is also going to be giving away posters, T-shirts and merchandise signed by Kingdom Hearts franchise director Tetsuya Nomura. Limited quantities of the PS3 exclusive (which include the 24-page art book) will also be sold at the event two days before it goes on sale everywhere else, and you’ll get a limited edition collectible pin with purchase. You can visit the Facebook event page for more details.
The 2013 Penny Arcade Expo took place this past weekend! And, as fate would have it, there is once again controversy surrounding Mike Krahulik as he fires another bullet into the Penny Arcade Dickwolves timeline.
For those not up-to-speed with the debacle: back in 2010, Mike and Jerry, the creators of Penny Arcade, posted a comic called “The Sixth Slave”, featuring a character talking about “dickwolves” and some grim allusions to rape in an attempt at “dark humour” (trigger warning for discussions of rape: “The Sixth Slave“). And ever since, they’ve been attempting to defend and justify their comic – most significantly by creating women’s T-Shirts with a “dickwolves” logo on the front, which was pulled almost two months later. And now, the controversy has been reignited – surrounded by a number of other controversies that highlight problems with Penny Arcade’s management, including Mike Krahulik’s recent transphobic comments.