All Posts In » 2011 » September » 16

  • 16Sep

    The cake isn’t a lie after all: Portal is free

    If you haven’t played the amazing game that is Portal by Valve yet, this is your chance. You can now play Portal for the low, low price of free. Ladies and gents, you can’t beat that price….unless you were giving something back. In a way, Valve is. As seen though the new website that gives you the link to download either the Mac or PC version of Portal for free, Valve is promoting “Learning with Portals,” which uses the game to teach math, logic, physics and engineering concepts. (I get the warm and fuzzies when education and gaming are combined.) This is not the first time that I have heard that teachers are using video games within the classroom. (I wrote an entire master’s education paper on such a concept, I should know.) This is the first time that a company as huge as Valve has provided their game for

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  • 16Sep

    Raptr hits 10 million users

    Game-tracking, news-aggregating social network Raptr has hit a huge milestone — 10 million registered users, with about one million users a day logging in to get their fix. “With more than 10 million users, Raptr has become a vibrant community for gamers to share and discover a fun mix of content about the games they are passionate about.  We’re constantly adding features that enhance the Raptr community by leveraging our deep data tracking to help users get more out of their games and fuel conversation between players with similar interests,” said Dennis Fong, CEO of Raptr.  “As a result, Raptr is also in a unique position to provide developers and publishers a deeper understanding of consumer trends and habits, helping game creators connect with their consumers in meaningful ways.” In May, Raptr launched its news features, which allow you to “follow” topics you’re interested in. In the three months since

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  • 16Sep

    Bejeweled Blitz the Fountain of Cognitive Youth?

    We are always looking for ways to keep our minds sharp as we get older, and Bejeweled Blitz may have just joined the ranks of crossword puzzles and Sudoku as tools to help us do that. A recent survey study of more than 10,000 U.S. adults suggests that playing Bejeweled Blitz regularly could enhance mental sharpness and pattern recognition in adults over 50. This survey, which is the first in a series that takes a rare look at the cognitive benefits of video game playing on adults over 50, focuses on Bejeweled Blitz and the tasks the game sets on the brain, including quick decision making, visual searching, and reaction time. Sharpness in performing other tasks was the benefit seen most often – 47.2% in people over 50. Pattern recognition was reported most in adults over 65, as well as the ability to perform timed tasks more quickly. The results

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  • 16Sep

    ‘Ni no Kuni’ is making its way to North America

    Ni no Kuni: Shiroki Seihai no Joou (basically Another World: Queen of the White Ashes) for PS3 will be seeing a North American release in early 2012. (Japan gets it on Nov. 17.) The (incredibly beautiful) RPG, brought to you by Level-5 and Studio Ghibli (who bring us Professor Layton and Totoro/Spirited Away/Kiki’s Delivery Service/Nausicaa, etc. respectively) allows you to control a young boy named Oliver, who is seeking to bring his mother back from the dead. But, you know, in a sweet way. Not a zombie way. He enters another world, parallel to his own, and has to face battles on his quest. DLC is on the way after release, but we know no details about it yet. If you need to be convinced of this game’s beauty, check out the trailer from TGS. [Source: Gamespot]

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  • 16Sep

    PAX Preview: Torchlight II

    Torchlight is one of those games that if you have ever used a computer for more than just checking email and looking for game deals, you might have stumble upon it once or twice.  One of my favorite games on Steam, since I was able to put it on a small low powered laptop and play it between classes or on long trips.  Once I played it from Portland to Seattle and it made the two plus hrs trip feel like a twenty minute ride.  So when I chatted with Jason Beck, the art director of the game, I was desperately wanting to know what was different. Jason said, “Well, is co-op now, different worlds instead of one dungeon underneath the town, as well of new skills, completely new classes and a lot of fine tuning from the first one. “  For the classes, we can now chose between male

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  • 16Sep

    IndieCade finalists announced

    Finalists for 2011′s IndieCade have been chosen, and 36 games will be exhibited at the festival, which runs Oct. 8-9 in Culver City, Calif. The chosen games come from all around the world and fit into a number of genres. You can play every finalist game at the event — and many of the games’ creators will be on hand for both demonstration and discussion. There will be an awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club. “Each year, we present 10 awards that honor excellence of teams and individuals across the wide range of creative disciplines required to create games, as well as the prestigious Jury Award, selected for its overall excellence and potential for impact in the game industry,” said Stephanie Barish, CEO of IndieCade. “But all the finalists stand out, and with previous years as a guide; they’re all going places.” This

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