MOCAtv (the video channel for the Museum of Contemporary Art) has released "Art in Video Games Los Angeles" episodes one and two. Art in Video Games Los Angeles focuses on gaming culture and artists in Los Angeles and offers interviews with important industry veterans like Stephanie Barish, Tracy Fullerton, Richard Lemarchand, and Sam Roberts. Profiled in later episodes are the new school of game artists like Kellee Santiago and Jenova Chen (Journey), Ian Dallas (The Unfinished Swan), and Mark Essen (Nidhogg).
An interesting article from Gamasutra explores whether traditional games journalism is slowly being damaged by the advent of the YouTube video game personality. The article, "Is YouTube killing the traditional games press?" goes directly to game developers to ask them if having their videogames played or highlighted by a popular YouTube personality has had an actual impact on sales.
Variance Films, the distribution arm of Amplify, has acquired director Jeremy Snead’s "Video Games: The Movie" documentary. The deal will see the film have a July 18 theatrical release in the U.S. and Canada, according to Variety. The movie’s big screen launch will coincide with the July 15 release on iTunes and other digital outlets.
While two team leaders from Ubisoft (working on Assassin's Creed: Unity and Far Cry 4) say that there wasn't enough time or resources to include female character options for multiplayer, one small developer - chronicled by Polygon - designed its game with inclusivity in mind at the start.
MOCAtv has launched "Art in Video Games Los Angeles," a new documentary series that focuses on the games culture and artists in Los Angeles. The series includes interviews with industry veterans like Tracy Fullerton, Richard Lemarch, Sam Roberts, Stephanie Barish, and also profiles several figures from the new school of game artists, including Kellee Santiago and Jenova Chen (Journey), Ian Dallas (The Unfinished Swan), and Mark Essen (Nidhogg).
Developer Pixelberry's High School Story, a game that took on the issue of bullying in High School, has set its sights on another important issue: teen boy image issues and eating disorders. A new version of the mobile game aims to provide "educational resources and professional support to the 20.2 million American teenagers who are unhappy with their bodies."
Three major game publishers are showing their support for the LGBTQ gaming community by taking part in this year's GaymerX convection, taking place July 11 - 13 in San Francisco. Ubisoft, NIS America, and console maker OUYA will take part in the second annual event that celebrates LGBTQ geek and gaming culture. All three companies will be present at this year's event and will take part in panels, workshops, events, and goodies for attendees.
Swedish project Democreativity is getting ready to release the first round of games based on suggestions from the Internet community around the world. Back in March the Swedish government launched a web site called Democreativity, with the goal of crowd sourcing game ideas and elevating traditional and non-traditional ideas in the gaming space including democracy, creativity, and diversity. The site is part of a initiative created by Visit Sweden, the Swedish Institute, and Business Sweden in conjunction with that country’s video games industry.
The ESA and Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS), have announced the exhibits for the 2014 Into the Pixel Collection at the Electronic Entertainment Expo next week. In its 11th year, the exhibit will feature art inspired by or directly from such games as Assassin's Creed Unity, Destiny, Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, Dota 2, Guild Wars 2, inFAMOUS Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall, Sunset Overdrive, The Banner Saga, and more.
Military-themed video game charity Operation Supply Drop announced several new initiatives for 2014 that are possible because of the strong support it received during its recent 8-Bit Salute fundraiser. The new "Thank You Deployment" initiative was announced, and the goal of it is to send select members of the armed forces on an all-expenses-paid VIP trip to gaming events or tours of game development studios for a rare insider's look at the video game industry.
Three friends want to bring a game-themed bar to Tempe, Arizona, and they have turned to Kickstarter to try and fund it. The Tempe "barcade" named Endgame is the brainchild of former ASU student Ryan Scott, and friends Nikki DelRosso and Mike Goosens. According to the Kickstarter page, the "barcade" would provide patrons with liquor and an "extensive collection of retro and modern games for you to enjoy and play."
As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign has received around ten percent of its $30,000 funding goal with 13 more days to go.
Conan O'Brien's latest edition of "Clueless Gamer" takes on Ubisoft's hacking-themed open-world action game, Watch Dogs. Being that Conan isn't much of a gamer, he acts like he's playing Grand Theft Auto V, with lots of inadvertent car crashes, car jackings, random gunfire, and other acts of stupidity.
The Los Angeles Mayor's office and the Los Angeles Unified School District recognized over 150 students today who were certified through the Digital Living Project. The program focuses on online privacy and safety, cyberbullying prevention, and introducing students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) based careers.
GamesIndustry International has an excellent article chronicling the plight of a female developer whose game was banned from Apple's App Store for depicting a sexual act. At first blush the game, HappyPlayTime, might sound like pornography, but it's more about education in a fun and entertaining way, according to its creator.
What does the average gamer look like and how are people who play games different from the rest of the population? Are they better or worse than the rest of society? While Jagex would never claim to know the full answers to these burning questions, the company behind the long-running MMORPG RuneScape thinks it has a clearer picture.
A new report on "core gamers" from the NPD group notes that 34 million people in the United States spend an average of 22 hours a week playing games. The data, which is based on a national online survey, also found that the majority of core gamers in the United States prefer to buy their games on physical discs rather than digitally. When the price is the same for digital and physical media, 74 percent of respondents said they would buy a physical disc over a download. Digital purchasing is up 5 percent compared to last year, NPD said.
Edward Snowden was inspired by video games, according to what one of the key journalists responsible for releasing the details contained in the classified documents leaked by the former NSA contractor tells GQ. Greenwald says that Snowden saw himself as video game hero fighting against an seemingly insurmountable force, much like a video game protagonist does.
Wargaming today announced that the Dornier Do17 aircraft will be exhibited at the Royal Air Force Museum in London, England when restoration on the World War II-era plane is completed in 2015. Last year, Wargaming teamed up with the Royal Air Force Museum to retrieve and conserve the only known surviving Dornier Do17 aircraft and provide visitors with the opportunity to view the conservation process and learn more about its history and role throughout World War II.
A recent video from Youtubers Public Prank Compilation shows what it might be like to be Agent 47 - the protagonist from the Hitman series from IO Interactive and Eidos - in real life. The video shows the videogame's most prolific assassin for hire choking out targets, climbing into dumpsters, dragging bodies and more - all within plain view of an unsuspecting public. Some of the reactions are hilarious, but how would you react if you saw a man throw a limp body into a dumpster nonchalantly and then walk away?
UK charity Special Effect has put up a very interesting video of a man with spinal muscular atrophy playing Minecraft with his eyebrows. You've read that right; he's playing Mojang's popular world-building sandbox game using the power of moving his eyebrows up and down, and it's pretty amazing to watch.
German automaker Volkswagen has launched a design contest encouraging students to "create a cool video game car for Volkswagen." Those individual students or teams interested in the contest, found here, have until August 15 to create cars and video game scenarios for them to be played out in.
Volkswagen does have one reasonable stipulation; that "the typical character of a Volkswagen should at least be somewhat recognizable."
The contest will be judged by Volkswagen design chief Klaus Bischoff.
A viral video featuring parodies of characters from Minecraft, Assassin's Creed, Thief, Max Payne, and Skyrim tries to explain how gamers "eat their food." The video created by gaming culture comedy group Mr.TVCow has already been viewed (as of this writing) 1,504,582 times.
Playing computer games such as Angry Birds and Lemmings teaches children some pretty important life skills including concentration, resilience and problem solving. Professor Angela Mcfarlane, an education expert in the United Kingdom who has advised the government there on educational technology (she is also currently writing a book called "Authentic Learning for the Digital Generation") and will soon become the head of the College of Teachers.
Here's a bizarre bit of polling reported on by the Wall Street Journal about the correlation between tattoos and video gamers. Apparently those who have a tattoo are also more inclined to be video gamers, though the folks responsible for the polling don't really understand why.
Pollsters also found that "Tattooed Americans" are more likely to be uninsured, live in a Republican congressional district, and voted for President Barack Obama in the past. The polling data also showed that there are far more tattooed people than there were 15 years ago.
The latest video for popular YouTube personality TotalBiscuit, (AKA The Cynical Brit, and TotalHalibut - and in real life 29-year-old John Bain) is not game related at all. In an honest and frank moment, the popular YouTube gaming personality talks about cancer.
"If you were hoping to hear about video games..." he says in his video as Surgeon Simulator is played out in the background. "Not today. I think that needed a video of its own, to explain there."
Eurogamer has an interesting story on a pro League of Legends player who is so committed to the MOBA hit that he played it in the hospital while recovering from a collapsed lung - and then streamed his session for four hours on Twitch.
Actress Bailee Madison and Starlight Children's Foundation will launch the first inaugural Play in May campaign next month. The charity event highlights the healing power of play for hospitalized kids while raising funds to support Starlight programs. Starting May 1, individuals and teams can pledge to play games for 15 minutes a day for 15 days and get friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members to sponsor the activity by making a donation.
The last time we checked games journalist Andrew Groen's Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for his book, A History of the Great Empires of Eve Online, it had more than doubled its initial goal of $12,500. As of this writing the project sits at $34,487. With the project fully funded and earning nearly three-times its original goal, Groen (pictured, left) has been talking about some things he can do to make the project more interesting.