1UP.com celebrates the 20th anniversary of the NES

Its a very good article that everyone should check out. Till my interview is up anyway.

1UP.com celebrates NES 20th aniversary.


The Book of Jim

Jim is a gamer. He wouldn’t say he’s hardcore, because he doesn’t believe in elitism, but he’s an avid enough player that he’s never out of touch in discussion circles. Now, Jim’s never been too aligned when it comes to console wars. He’s done the Sega thing, sampled and loved Sony products, gotten down and dirty with the Big N, and most recently has been known to get biz-ay with Microsoft. So it’s safe to assume that Jim pledges allegiance to no one. He’s all about the experience.

Well, that’s what Jim would like people to believe, anyway. The truth is, even though a vast many of systems and games have been tried under his belt, Jimmy-boy has always kept a soft spot for the underdog. Do we really have to guess what system Jim is supporting next round, then? Need a hint? It starts with “R” and ends in “mother fucking evolution.” No, not Rmotherfuckingevolution, that’s just a way to add some ZOOM and POP to this piece; I’m talkin’ bout that Revolution.

Jim’s seen the videos for games like Elder Scrolls IV: You’re Going To Spend A Lot Of Time Walking and Metal Gear Solid 4: Convoluted Storylines Director’s Cut. And he’s impressed, you better believe it – he’s even a tad jealous since he knows that the consoles that these games will be appearing on won’t be his initial choice. No, with Nintendo keeping quiet and NDAs keeping development houses more silent than the aftermath of a drunken evening with a gender-bender, Jim doesn’t even know what the visual power of the Revolution will be; people say it’ll be under-powered, but Jim would like to believe it won’t be too noticeable.

So why does Jim stick with Nintendo? Who knows, maybe it’s Zelda, maybe it’s the innovation. It could very well be the price point, but not even that has been leaked yet. So our hero of shoulder buttons and C-Sticks sits with desiring eyes, wondering when it’ll be his turn to see something truly incredible. He’s seen the controller – he thinks it’s nice, but he doesn’t care too much what the interface is. He wants to see the games, damnit! “Lift the curtain,” he cries, “Show me the magic!”

But nothing appears, sadly. All that Jim gets is a cryptic answer from a Japanese guy who hangs out with monkeys and plumbers or an evasive “see you next time” answer from a man with bad teeth and a special place in his heart for Kirby. Even when Mr. Bravado gets Jim all worked up, the poor gamer suffers later on when nothing is delivered. Instead, he’s kicked in the nuts while Monkey-Man plays Nintendogs and hits on blonde women half his age.

Somehow, even with all of their shortcomings, Jim can’t break loose of the Nintendo leash. He yearns to sail across vast oceans; he pines to guide a gorilla through a jungle with a pair of bongos; he’s even played turn-based strategy games and loved it. Like a battered wife who can’t let go, Jim will always return, no matter how badly it hurt when Bad-Teeth hit him with a two-by-four.

Jim’s a conflicted person, most definitely. He wants a varied experience and a plethora of dark, moody titles. Yet he can’t imagine it in any other place other than a purple cube or a tiny box controlled by a DVD remote. So what kind of options does our currency-deprived protagonist have? Will he be doomed to forever be let down or will he finally get the console he’s deserved for so many years?

In the words of Jim, “It’s time to put up or fucking shut up, Nintendo…”

“No wait, baby! I didn’t mean it! Take me back!”

Take me back…

-Karl Castaneda


The Jack Thompson saga continues...

Jack Thompson is really a quack. He think he's some angel sent by heaven to protect us all from videogames. His recent quest to show the entire US that the GTA series is nothing more than "cop killing simulator" is not stupid but down right entertaining. But it doesn't stop there. Oh no it doesn't. You see Jack then goes on and gets approval from Jeb Bush to write up a law that prevents minors from getting games into their hands.

Later he delcares that if someone made a murder simulator game where you start off by killing the family of the preisdent of Rockstar then go on a murderous ranpage till you get to E3, he would gladly donate $10,000 to carity. Well it eventually happened and he backed out of the deal. Also because of Jack proving how much of a loon he was is then blasted by the National Insitute on Media and the Family for abusive use of their research and their company president's name.

While this whole fiasco was going about, Gabe, of penny arcade fame, sent Jack an email. While I do not know the contents of this email, it seems to have slighty upset Jack to which he calls Gabe on the phone. You can easily see how the Penny Arcade crew dealt with this when you visit their site. It also became apparent that Jack then tried to have them arrested by coarsing the police with his story of GTA as a copkiller simulator and how he was harassed multiple times by Penny Arcade. Read it here and scroll down a bit to see the whole story.

Also since jack wasn't willing to donate the $10,000 to a charity after some made his proposed game, Gabe took it upon himself to write the check and donate it on Jack's behalf. Bravo Gabe, you have not only proven you are the better man, but that you have a brain and Jack seems to have misplaced his. We will have more on Jack eventually since I know for a fact that this loon isn't done with his work yet. So until the next stupid act. Peace.


What we at Gaming Vision are currently up too.

To be polite I will start with what Karl is doing.
Okay I'm just joking. Actually Karl is hard at work on an article for GV but in the meantime that will have to take backseat while his other work takes precedences. He'll have his GV article probably by the end of the week.

As for me I am caught in the middle or either writing an article on that crazy loon Jack Thompson or on the impending launch of the Xbox 360. I am also working on getting my first interview with someone who works in the game industry. I would tell ya who but I was asked to keep it a secret. I am hoping it works out for the company I am interviewing and myself.

Anyway, thats what we are up too so hopefully you'll be patient and stick around. Oh and we have a new poll question by the way. Be sure to vote. Later.



A breif rant. Parents, The Game Industry and You!

Robert: Today's Ranting on AIM is brought to you by Gamespot.. The topic, stupid parents, the game industry and you.

Karl: The guy was rightfully convicted, if you ask me. He murdered police officers and GTA has nothing to do with it. I play Viewtiful Joe all the time. I don't wander into the world of movies and fight off cheesy 2D villains. The thing that people can't understand is that M-rated games are suited for Mature audiences. That "mature" means that only people who can tell right from wrong should play the game. If you can't tell the difference between right and wrong, you shoudn't be playing M-rated games.

Robert: Indeed. Justice was served but then the parents went and blamed the wrong people. But at times M rated games aren't even good for people at the appropriate age sometimes. People who have mental disabilities or have been mentally or physically abused should not be allowed near stuff that and easily influence them.

Karl: Once you become an adult, you're responsible for your actions, end of story. "Games made me do it" is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Agreed. If you have a pre-exisitng mental condition, violent games shouldn't be on your to-do list.

Robert: R rated movies, M rated games, music with extreme lyrics and messages should not be getting into the hands of some of these people. Remember Columbine. The so called influence for those kids was Doom, Marilyn Mason and Baseball Dreams.

Karl: I do. It was a tragedy, but to say that games made those kids kill people is propaganda fueled by conservative censors.

Robert: And the creators of all of those were sued by the parents of the kids who cause the harm to begin with.

Karl: They were already off-balance before they even considered getting their hands around a controller.

Robert: The blame should be pointed at the parents. They should be monitoring what is in a game. That is why the ESRB was created. If the parents knew what was in the game to begin with maybe some of these influences might've been avoided.

Karl: Parents have the natural duty to guard their children against things that may adversely affect them, so I have no problems with Joe Parent getting angry about his kid playing GTA. It's when he imposes his viewpoint on the public that we have a problem.

Robert: A study I heard years ago did prove that young children who played violent games do have a change in attitude and become a bit more aggressive.

Karl: That's odd. In the latest Game Informer, they have an article that states otherwise. That violent crimes, drug use, and other problems such as these have actually gone down in recent years, and that playing violent video games has little to no effect on your temper.

Robert: But when you regulated what your kids are playing, watching or listening to these kinds of things can be avoided. I did a class project my senior year of high school and I found a study that showed the influence of games on young children. It showed that children who played the more aggressive games eventually become more aggressive themselves. But children at young ages are easily suspectible to many inlfuences.

Karl: Ultimately, the role of parent must be performed by its rightful owner, not some piece of digital entertainment. If a few hours of violent gaming undoes the very fabric of your kid's reality, there was already something wrong with him or her.

Robert: The Entertaiment industry can only relugate so much. It all comes done to parenting. The parents have the control of what their children and interact with until a cetain age.

Karl: Exactly.


The Walk of Game is and will always be, a facade.

I'm serious here. The Walk of Game is a ridiculous and pointless mockery of the gaming industry. Its also a complete blantant ripoff of the walk of fame. What is it about the Walk of Game that makes me mad? Why there are several things about it of course and I am going to rip into each and every one of them.

First and foremost I don't recall the walk of fame to ever have a voting process where the fans are included. This already makes the selection process of who gets inducted a sham. Like in every game related poll or vote, the "most popular" will get in. Forget about the most deserving games, the games that changed the industry or reinvented a genre or pushed the boundries of gaming to new levels. No it will be the most popular. The game that game that looks cool, has a cool playable character and awesome music.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Mario was a definite for the Walk of Game

Halo, Mario, Sonic and Link as inductees to represent an entire history of gaming was a smart move but thats because they felt that they HAD to induct them. Why? Becuase they are gaming icons, they moved the industry, because everyone knows who they are and played their games. Thats reason enough. While I find Halo to be befitting of being inducted I feel that there are other older games that should've been inducted before hand. How about Wolfenstein? It's the world's first first person shooter and created a genre that Doom later made popular. What about Duck Hunt or other laser sighted gun games? Or even Dragon Warrior which was the first of a long running popular RPG series that helped make console RPG's a staple in gaming.

But no, in the current list of nominatins for the next Walk of Game we do have some deserving games and characters but also popular and cool games that did little to help the industry. I predict that out of those games series selected Final Fantasy, GTA, The Sims and Madden will be picked. Madden to me is deserving but in the series later years the games haven't been as revolutionary or different from previous years. GTA will be picked for sure since the mediocre series is way over hyped and the recent "Hot Coffee" incident gave it more twice the exposure( both good and bad) it recieved before.

My second biggest beef with the Walk of Game involves the Lifetime Achievement Award. I do like the idea of the Achievement Award, but there is one I have an issue with. Nolan Bushnell. He's the man whp created the company Atari, then later left and created Chuck E. Cheese, but he is NOT and should not be conisidered the father of Videogames. That honor belongs to Ralph Baer who created the first game console the Magnovox Odyssey. It was this device that Nolan Bushnell copied, improved upon and then later capitalized when the Atari 2600 was released in the 70's. And yet nobody at the Walk of Game realizes this. Probably because the institute is being ran by people with little knowledge of the gaming industry.

I am also shocked that in this years list of nominees, that Ralph Baer and Alexey Pajitnov are not on the ballet. We all know why Ralph should be on the ballet but what about Alexey. He created the world's most popular and most played puzzle game in history, Tetris.

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Top: Raplh Baer demonstrating "The Brown Box." Bottom: Alexey Pajitnov.

He created a game that's had millions of people play it and hundreds of imitation clones by hundreds of companies. He should a shoe-in as a nominee but then again I reiterate that nobody who works at the Walk of Game does any kind of research.

Putting my objections aside however I do feel that the Walk of Game can be a pivotal poart of the industry. It just needs to be reworked. People need to perform more reasearch and find the games and icons that really pushed the industry forward. Some of the popular games are the industry pushers, games like Final Fantasy, Doom, Madden and The Elder Scrolls, but more often they're not. We end up with games like Civilization when we should be looking at Sim City. Or having GTA called revolutionary instead of Daggerfall. Its a shame, really it is.

I do hope that the Walk of Game evolves though. Its only in its second year of existance and there are many more years for improvement. Will Ralph Baer be a receptiant of the Lifetime Achievement award? Will Alexey get the praise he deserves and be an inductee as well? Will they get rid of the voting system that will only let the popular games in? Time will tell.