The Sony PlayStation TV beams a different image to each player's eyes, so no more splitscreen--which means no more "screen-cheating," and no more half-size screens
By Joseph A. BernsteinPosted 02.09.2012 at 1:52 pm 4 Comments
Gamers who prefer their multiplayer limited and local, as opposed to massive and online, will be familiar with the practice of screen cheating. The technique involves sneaking glances at your opponent's section of the bi- or quadrisected television screen to determine his or her location to gain an advantage. If you were good at the seminal split screen multiplayer games--GoldenEye, Mario Kart, the first Halo--you screen cheated. If you were bad, you screen cheated.
Kingda Ka, the tallest roller coaster on Earth, drops its passengers a life-flashing 418 feet. Ferrari World's Formula Rossa, the fastest, literally takes riders' breath away at speeds of up to 150 mph. Though thrilling, these are phenomena of degree, not kind. BRC Imagination Arts, a Southern California design firm, has proposed something entirely new: a ride that creates the sensation of zero gravity for up to eight seconds at a time.
"Gravity has always been a major part of my life."
By Paul KvintaPosted 02.08.2012 at 2:41 pm 3 Comments
In the waning decades of the 20th century, men from New Zealand began inventing new ways to injure themselves. They jumped from bridges with elastic bands attached to their ankles, ran class-five rapids without boats, and fixed themselves to large kites to achieve great speed. Soon enough, a culture had emerged—one that paired backyard engineering with the pursuit of adrenaline. Today, thanks to these pioneers, brave souls the world over may hurtle through the air, down mountains and up rivers and live to brag about it.
Predictions, opinions, and hopes from the creators of Gears of War,Mass Effect 3,Halo 4, and more
By Jon IrwinPosted 02.08.2012 at 1:30 pm 5 Comments
This month, Popular Science explores the future of fun. Here on PopSci.com, we've teamed up with the game experts at Kill Screen. We speak to top video game designers about their visions of the future of fun; take a look at the resurgence in making your own fun, and bring you a playable online arcade.
In 1907, Hungarian explorer Sir Marc Aurel Stein discovered the Diamond Sutra in north-west China, a Buddhist holy text believed to be the oldest printed book. Dated 868 A.D., the faded paper, wrapped around a wooden pole, looks nothing like our published texts. But at a foundational level, the scholar 1200 years ago would still absorb its material the same way we do today: by reading words from a page.
By Gus MastrapaPosted 02.07.2012 at 3:13 pm 10 Comments
The era of the rampage is officially over.
In 2001, Grand Theft Auto III introduced a mass audience to a new way of experiencing the world of a game: Instead of walking narrow corridors or outdoor environments that felt hemmed in by invisible walls and artificial barriers, you could explore a vast city.
The other night I wanted to kill some time before "30 Rock" started, so I sat down and tried to build a strand of RNA. I clicked a yellow adenine avatar to turn it into peppermint-candy-shaped guanine, preparing to form a base pair. I moused over whole sections of my virtual molecule, switching bases and zooming in and out to ensure I kept the required shape as I formed more chemical bonds.
For now, for me, the computer game EteRNA is a fun diversion. But maybe someday, if I get really good, Adrien Treuille and his colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University will bring one of my RNAs to life, synthesizing it in a lab and checking whether it could lead to new drugs or new research in biotechnology. I would so love to find out. And this is exactly the point.
Were these photos of New York taken by tourists, or by natives?
By Eric Fischer and John LounsberyPosted 02.07.2012 at 1:01 pm 0 Comments
Eric Fischer analyzed thousands of photos of New York. Based on the historical data from each uploader's Flickr account, he deduced which were taken by tourists and which by locals, and plotted the results on a map.
Now we've turned the geo-data into a game. Can you figure out which photos are which?
Architecture and design firms are remaking the playground in ways you'd never expect
By Geoff ManaughPosted 02.06.2012 at 2:07 pm 5 Comments
Playgrounds are competing for kids' time and losing. Nearly 25 percent of children ages 9 through 13 have no free time for physical activity, and a child is six times as likely to play a videogame as to ride a bike. The playgrounds of tomorrow must offer something that even the most enticing virtual offerings cannot: real spaces that look at least as amazing as anything virtual. Architects and design firms are remaking the playground by taking virtualization head on. These spaces are complex and engaging, and some even have buttons to push.
By Adam DachisPosted 02.06.2012 at 12:09 pm 5 Comments
Fans of classic video games have long been able to mimic old game systems on their computers using apps called emulators. Now, smartphones and tablets can also run them. With the right emulator and game files (downloaded separately), virtual versions of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Genesis and other consoles—as well as dozens of vintage arcade titles that can't be found as standalone downloads—will be available anywhere.
Five web-based games—all playable right here—that are redefining the way we have fun with video games online
By Filipe SalgadoPosted 02.06.2012 at 10:32 am 9 Comments
In our February issue, Popular Science explores the Future of Fun. Here on PopSci.com, we've teamed up with the video game experts at Kill Screen to bring you a week-long special feature exploring the unexpected ways we have fun with games today—and how what's even considered a "video game" is ever-changing.In our first feature this week, Kill Screen's Filipe Salgado pulls together five web-based Flash games (all playable right here) that showcase this new creativity.
On November 8th, 2011, Activision released the latest entry in the popular Call of Duty series, Modern Warfare 3. It sold 6.5 million copies in its first day, and stands as the highest-grossing entertainment launch of all time. The game was well received, but in almost every review a lack of innovation is brought up. The game iterates instead of innovates. It still remains a military shooter set in a present-day conflict. Its look and the way you play it remain largely the same as its predecessors. Big explosions and big setpieces, like videogames Michael Bay would make. And why change? With a budget in the millions, there is little room for experimentation. Game makers have found a recipe that sells well. Deviating from it can only hurt.
While big-budget games get further entrenched in big returns and big budgets, a lot of innovation has shifted to the internet. Developers, by themselves or in small teams, have turned the small scale of the browser into an asset, creating little Flash-based distractions that don't have to worry about commercial viability, and that innovate excitingly, either through theme, subject matter, or game play. They work outside the system. And the best part? They're all free.