Game Time: The best stories about games, culture, and community (March 26 – April 2)
With the help of my graduate assistant Sammi Kirby, each week I’ll pull together stories about games, culture, and the art and design of communities. Where Dungeons & Dreamers: A story of how computer games created a global community ends, this blog begins. If we’ve missed a story, let us know. Or share your story with us in the comments.
- Games, Stories, and Worlds: People can’t agree on the meanings for the terms “story” and “game,” so the relationship between the two is going to differ based on how the individual person defines the two. Arguments about the relationship need term definitions for real explanatory value, otherwise the argument ends up being almost meaningless.
- New RPG Pillars of Eternity: Silly Name, Terrific Story: Pillars of Eternity is an old-school PG role-playing game funded through a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $4 million. It’s a beautiful, methodical, slow-paced, story that the users interact with.
- Half-Life 2 gets a beautiful but subtle makeover in this community-made mod: Half-Life 2: Update was released through Steam as a standalone, community-made mod. Improvements include bug and behavior fixes, graphical tweaks, and community commentary.
- Gen Con discussing whether to remain in Indiana after controversial law passes: In response to the religious freedom bill in Indiana, the Gen Con hobby game convention’s parent company said they will be discussing whether they will be staying in Indianapolis for their next contract-term, or if they will move somewhere else.
- President Obama notes love of Conan the Barbarian, Spider-man comics in letter to supports: President Barack Obama sent a mass letter to backers that included a story about his love for comic books when he was growing up, especially Conan the Barbarian and Spiderman.
- Steven Spielberg to direct Ready Player One film adaptation: Ready Player One, is a sci-fi novel about escaping into a virtual world, which is being adapted into a movie directed by Steven Spielberg.
- Pro rasslers are just as crazy playing Gang Beasts as they are in Wrestlemania: Smosh Games played Gang Beasts with WWE Diva Paige and WWE wrestlers Xavier Wooder, Seth Rollins and Daniel Bryan.
- Chainmail Bikini Anthology Has Women Gamers Telling Their Own Stories: Chainmail Bikini is a graphic novel anthology that collects female writers’ and artists’ fiction and non-fiction stories about gaming in their lives.
- Fans Have Dropped $77M on This Guy’s Buggy, Half-Built Game: Star Citizen is a massively multiplayer game that doesn’t have a date for when it will be up and running, but it has raised $77 million from 770,000 supporters. The game’s website lets users into the world, and allows them to buy things in the game that hasn’t been released yet.
- An In-Depth Look At How Dungeons & Dragons’ New Miniatures Are Made: Gale Force Nine explained the process of creating the miniatures that will be released for the new Dungeons & Dragons game. Visuals of the process are included.
- Vin Diesel Says The ‘Fast & Furious’ Franchise Was Influenced By ‘Dungeons & Dragons’: Vin Diesel is a big Dungeons & Dragons fan and player, and he claims the Fast & Furious movies were inspired by the game.
- Internet races to help Colorado woman crowdfund her Dungeons & Dragons bar: Melissa Garza raised over $42,000 for her D&D-themed bar “Dungeons and Drafts,” on Kickstarter. The original goal was $9,600, and the crowdfunding was successful after six hours.
- I’m the creepy guy wearing a VR headset on your plane (and it’s great): Ben Kuchera used his Gear VR to watch video on a flight and found the experience odd, potentially rude, and great for helping with potentially stressful environments.
- CCP is changing the virtual reality game using … Kinects?: CCP’s virtual reality experiment uses the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 for head-tracking, and Microsoft’s Kinect in order to track body movement so that the user doesn’t need to use a controller or push buttons.
- This free VR platform is helping universities experiment with the next frontier of tech: An Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) academia program is giving 20 universities their own open-source VR hardware dev kits for experimenting with, and discovering, virtual reality innovation.
- Virtual noses keep real-world VR sickness at bay: Purdue University researchers say that adding a virtual nose to virtual reality simulations could mitigate simulator sickness. It would work as an anchor, fixed at the edge of the users vision.