Online gaming has a real-life environmental impact, whether through a computer's energy usage or the power-hungry server farms owned by game companies. But a media expert at the University of Stanford has suggested harnessing the allure of online multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft for the greener good.
Byron Reeves sketched a scenario where a player might get in-game feedback from a smart meter which records energy usage in the house. Turn off the lights, and the game takes note and rewards you accordingly.
By Marshall Louis ReavesPosted 02.17.2009 at 2:35 pm 0 Comments
Catching up with artists and writers at New York Comic Con, we heard about new science and technology in comics, graphic novels, video games, and film. While many new stories hinge on emerging technologies, the best of the classic stories incorporate the newest science into ongoing sagas, often rewriting the past. In either case, these graphical genres can explore the consequences of scientific progress in the not too distant future.
Like skinny jeans and Wall Street panics, everything old is new again, especially if you're a gamer. Thank golden-age throwbacks (i.e. Street Fighter IV) and budget-priced anthologies (see: Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection), which continue to score well with misty-eyed Gen X-ers. In an unexpected comedic twist though, two refreshingly cheeky titles are suddenly making sport of treasured childhood memories. Nor can these interactive outings resist asking just how blinded joystick lovers really are by nostalgia's lenses.
Developing PC and video games is a crapshoot at best. My own self-published Heavyweight Thunder took a year to build, cost a small fortune, and ultimately tanked with critics. But if Microsoft has its way, literally anyone, regardless of technical know-how, will soon have the opportunity to create jaw-dropping digital diversions.
The company that claims "It's in the game" was certainly immersed in Super Bowl week. EA Sports was busy preparing teams, educating fans, and predicting the results better than the best bettors in Vegas.
In what's become a yearly tradition, the Madden '09 simulator predicted the Steelers would win Super Bowl XLIII. As seven-point favorites, it was hardly a stretch, but the predicted score was 28-24. Actual score? 27-23. Not bad for a video game. While Santonio Holmes walked away with the real MVP, many pundits could argue that quarterback Ben Roethlisburger, who received the simulated honor, deserved it just as much.
Ah, irony. When we predicted that 2009 would be a year of innovation for the video game business, who knew it would start by pushing the boundaries of silliness? As a visit to the Gaming Showcase pavilion at last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) proved though, chuckles were in no short supply.
This 50-foot Ethernet cable snaking all the way through my apartment from the router in the bedroom to my Xbox 360 in the living room? That's how I used to play videogames online. The Xbox doesn't come with wireless capability built in, and I didn't want to shell out the extra $100 -- a third the price of the console itself -- for Microsoft's wireless adapter. Third-party wireless bridges cost a bit less but are still pricey. Finally, though, I found a way to ditch the giant wire with a solution that cost me only 40 bucks.
Tick, tick, tick... No matter how often you glance up from that quarterly sales forecast, it still seems like an eternity until 5 o'clock. But with today's increasingly sophisticated free online games, it's easy to kill time and torpedo productivity faster than you can say "TPS report." Recent highlights include the addition of 3D graphics, head-to-head cooperative or competitive multiplayer options and even digitized speech--boosting titles' addictiveness and geek cred alike. Just fire up your favorite Web browser and surf to the following five sites for instant mouse-waggling thrills.