Creativity Fatigue Sets In: iOS and Android Games are Losing Their Edge

There’s been a lot of talk recently about mobile gaming via iOS and Android devices taking over the market, which has been previously dominated by Sony and Nintendo.  Your usual points of evidence include cheaper prices ($.99 vs. $39), ease of installation (install in seconds vs. purchase at store and carry with you), and dual/tri-functionality (phone/app/game vs. game).  Nintendo has stated for the past two years that they not only don’t fear this new trend, but don’t even see it as a competition.  I originally thought this was preposterous posturing, but even as an avid iOS gamer, I’m starting to agree with the Big N. Continue reading

Games and Comics: Providing Counseling for Our Parentless Children

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Let an artificially intelligent piece of software counsel my child or student?

It’s a tough concept to accept.  We’ve heard horror stories since the 90’s about the effects of video games on our children (amazingly, comics date all the way back to the 1920’s).  You have those who feel gaming makes kids violent, reclusive, or even mentally ill (all have been debunked over the past few years).  And, while the list of those who would argue that video games do induce violence in our children is dwindling fast, the list of those who think video games are socially beneficial is growing at a much slower pace.

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Kinect Fails to Connect

Microsoft unveiled their Kinect (previously known as Project Natal) device on Sunday, a full day before the official launch of E3. No doubt this was done in an effort to set the stage for the announcement of their 2010-11 games that will use the technology.

Kinect — and Sony’s Move — are obviously golden ring grabs at the motion controlling frenzy Nintendo kick-started almost 5 years ago. Yes, it took Microsoft and Sony 5 years to finally swallow their pride (and disparaging comments) and admit that motion controllers did have a place in the gaming circuit.

I own all 3 major consoles, and play each equally (recently racking up time on Mass Effect, Ratchet and Clank, Fallout3, and Uncharted — can you tell I’m a father? My current games are at least 2 years old!); however, I spend a lot of time with the Wii and DS, mostly because I have a 6 year old who loves to play video games, and those are the consoles that constantly churn out quality, family-friendly (not kiddie!) games that we can all play — and, yes, a fair amount of shovelware that I have to dissuade my son from asking for (i.e. anything Scooby Doo, Spongebob, Ben10, and Nintendog clones).

Read more for my thoughts on Microsoft’s ability to foster the same feeling of trust and consistency in a new Blue Ocean market

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When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Scribblenaut: Students, Scribblenauts, and Problem Solving

Last week saw the release of a much anticipated, and even more hyped game, Scribblenauts. The game sports a 22,000 word dictionary of nouns that promises the player the ability to create any object their mind can fathom.

I can substantiate that claim having created some rather off-the-wall items, such as: a vampire, a block of chalk (which I used to thwart off some troublesome ants), the chupacabra, hover boots, and even god, wielding a bazooka and jetpack.

But, what does this all mean? Why would I sit all day and simply type into my Nintendo DS nouns and watch the analog appear on my screen? I do it, because I helps me solve the in-game puzzle — which is to retrieve a captured Starite — in the most creative and improbable way.

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