Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

October 2016

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Happy Halloween: Try Some Dexter Gaming

October 31, 2016

Remember Dexter? That Showtime series that impressed a lot of people with the story of a serial killer with a set of ethics who eventually became a father? Though the series may no longer be around outside of the home video realm, the series isn't as dead as the Ice Truck Killer thanks to a new mobile game, "Dexter: Slice."

It's not a role playing game, or a game where you pursue serial killers via point-and-click adventure fun. No, this is a puzzle game, where the object is to use your touchscreen to keep from getting, well, sliced.

In the game, users get a glimpse of a field full of really, really sharp knives.

Kickstarter Game Teaches Art Appreciation by Roundabout Means

October 26, 2016

I've seen games do a lot of things before, but this is rich. A new game appearing on Kickstarter known as The Painter's Apprentice is offering an unexpected way to get players interested in art: platform gaming.

The game in question is called The Painter's Apprentice, and this small-scale release is a platform gamer featuring the title character. Said title character has spent the last three years apprenticed to the village's master painter, and now, he's ready to take on some big challenges. Noticing that one of his master's paintings has lost its color, the apprentice decides to take over, restoring color to the drained work.

Star Control May Be Making a Comeback

October 19, 2016

Oh, this is exciting! Not so long ago, word came out that Master of Orion was to be getting a new coat of paint, assorted voice actors, and some real star power. Now, new reports suggest that another former PC classic gaming line, Star Control, is also getting a renovation.

The original, which was mostly focused on ship combat, came out way back in 1990. Its sequel--the one that in a lot of ways really fired up the series by turning it into an RPG with space combat--came out just two years later.

SAG-AFTRA May Be Planning Strike

October 18, 2016

It might come as a surprise to some gamers out there, but SAG-AFTRA, the actors' guild, actually plays a role in video gaming. As such, it might do a bit of harm when the group potentially declares itself on strike against the video game industry.

A set of negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and those gaming companies that hire voice actors didn't exactly go well--SAG-AFTRA described it as "Despite years of concerted effort and negotiating sessions, video game employers have steadfastly refused to reach a fair deal during our contract negotiations" which is about the high-water market for "didn't go well"--leading to the likely emergence of a strike.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the negotiating arm of the video game companies Barnes & Thornberg, via Scott J. Witlin, noted that it had been negotiating " good faith for the past 18 months with SAG-AFTRA union leaders, and are making progress toward a new contract." Witlin also noted "We are deeply disappointed to learn today of the union’s threatened strike and its unilateral violation of the mutually agreed upon ‘news black-out’ on negotiation discussions."

It sounds like the normal kind of SAG-AFTRA affair, in which it asserts unilaterally that it's moved heaven and earth to make a deal and yet whoever it's dealing with simply won't play fair. By like token, it's not a surprise to see the other side claim similarly.

eSports Make Push to Nigeria with African Gaming League

October 17, 2016

We all knew that eSports was gaining a lot of ground, but what wasn't immediately clear just how global this concept was getting. A new report out of Africa revealed that it was making moves in Nigeria, as some new effort was bringing eSports into the region with the newly-minted African Gaming League.

Launched by Amaete Umanah and a slate of co-founders, the African Gaming League will launch via a set of four cities throughout Nigeria, in which the league's first tournament will take place. Though there are a host of gamers on the continent, Umanah notes, such gamers have been somewhat ignored by the gaming companies. Thus the African Gaming League rose up to do the job itself.

With eSports poised to take in around $493 million by the end of this year, there's plenty of reason to step into the market.

Presence Capital's Amitt Mahajan Talks 2017 Market for VR and AR

October 12, 2016

If you've been looking at the market for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) with the kind of excitement that's warranted for such a huge potential market, then the recent word from Presence Capital's Amitt Mahajan should be welcome. Though 2016 was marked with heavy investment in the VR and AR spaces, there's absolutely nothing to suggest that 2017 will be that much lighter.

2016 was marked by a host of new platforms and investments in the market, and Mahajan suggests that we're just getting started. Indeed, Mahajan beleives that we're in the start of a "long cycle" of events that will deliver still more change to the market. With Presence Capital already putting investment in 25 different firms, this company has quite a bit of capital committed in the field.

With some investments maturing, and new investments advancing, that means a lot more opportunity that's likely to come.

Can Pokemon Go Help You Live Longer?

October 11, 2016

Sounds like clickbait, doesn't it? Well, that's not the case, at least not based on a recent study from Stanford and Microsoft, and it's about for the reason you'd expect.

Essentially, those who play Pokemon Go fairly actively are getting fairly active, getting about 26 percent more physical activity than they were beforehand, so says the combined effort of Microsoft Research and Stanford University. Essentially, those walking around looking for Pokemon to capture are putting in almost 1,500 steps extra per day, which is a healthy chunk of healthy activity. In fact, Pokemon Go has gotten a lot of players a little fitter; cumulatively, Pokemon Go has added around 144 billion steps to US physical activity just since July.

What's more, the reality may even be better than the study notes; the study only covers users of Microsoft Band, a $250 wearable device, and those who were actually willing to share their activity.

Report: Hacker Group Lizard Squad Loses Members to Arrest

October 10, 2016

Back in 2014, some will remember, the hacker collective known as Lizard Squad took on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, delivering an attack in the midst of the holiday season. While there were some concerns that a holiday attack might have come again with the last holiday season, that concern is a little less likely now as some of Lizard Squad's membership was arrested recently.

The two members in question, according to a report from the Department of Justice, were Bradley Jan Willem van Rooy--currently in custody in the Netherlands--and Zachary Buchta, taken in in Maryland. Both were 19, and connected to an investigation into other alleged efforts by Lizard Squad, including a kind of "revenge for hire" service involving threatening phone calls and other distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

These weren't the first arrests connected to the attacks, as some of them go back to August of 2015.

Updates Are Starting to Get in the Way of a Good Gaming Experience

October 5, 2016

There is one thing about this gaming generation that I'm not at all happy with, and so I'm taking today to make mention of this point. You've likely already gleaned it from the headline, and my problem of the day is the growing number of updates games are requiring.

Now, I'm glad for one great move Microsoft made recently, allowing users to pause downloads for specific times. But sometimes, these updates get so numerous and so substantial that they need to be scheduled over the course of several days. This morning, I got up and set about a normal workday when I discovered that websites were opening sluggishly.

SteelSeries Rival 500 Gaming Mouse Review: Beautiful Controls, Unnecessary Accoutrements

October 4, 2016

Those who wanted a better, more stylish way to control their games often turn to specialized gaming mice. Our friends out at the Max Borges Agency sent over a SteelSeries Rival 500 gaming mouse for us to try, and this little beauty will do just about everything you could ask for it. Perhaps the only downside to it is that it will also do a lot of things no one will ask for, wondering why those functions are even there in the first place.

The Rival 500 comes with a host of controls, including a series of side buttons that allow for different levels of control. A flickdown switch in the range of the thumb buttons allows for further control options, and a mechanical button lock on the mouse's underside allows those flickdown buttons to become a thumb rest.

Vuzix iWear Video Headphones Review: Superlative-Defying

October 3, 2016

Today we've got something downright extraordinary today to review; our friends at the Max Borges Agency sent out, though on a trial basis only, a set of Vuzix iWear video headphones. I ran this system through its paces with a variety of audio and video options and the end result, almost universally, was a constant string of spectacular events.

The Vuzix iWear video headphones are basically what they say they are: a set of headphones with a video screen option, such that the end result looks like viewing a 125-inch screen from a distance of 10 feet. Packin a 40mm driver with frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, some impressive sounds can be had here.

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