Day of the DLC

 

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Photo by OfDoom at Morguefile.com

I am not a man of nostalgia. My impression of video games, as a whole, has improved over time. My childhood may be have been filled with moments of legitimate joy, but it was also filled with many more times of trial and error. Gameplay conventions that I appreciate about the modern state of gaming were absent. I recall trying to play the original System Shock and being shocked that it required the player to use a slider on one of its many intimidating user interfaces just to look up. It was an era before mouselook, an era in which I was uncomfortable travelling.

But just as it would be inaccurate to view my personal childhood through rose-colored glasses, so too would it be inaccurate to view the present state of gaming through the same lens.

My largest gripe is the surge in DLC or downloadable content. DLC is pretty self-explanatory in concept. Previously, additions to a game could only be released for PC games as expansions. Consoles for the most were absent from this process, though the lock-on cartridge for Sonic 3 and Knuckles could be argued as its own form of an expansion pack (though it would be more accurate to describe it as a standalone expansion). As the Dreamcast introduced online connectivity, and the original Xbox introduced hard drive storage, it was now possible for a game to receive patches and updates from the internet.

But, the widespread adoption of DLC came quickly, and without structure. People were still trying to figure out what to do with it. Arguably, they still are. But what was happening as a result?

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No Man’s Sky and The Death of Hype Culture

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I’m certain that I’m late to the party on this subject, but I do want to throw in my two cents on the broader pattern of the presence of “hype culture”. The recent release of “No Man’s Sky” helps to highlight a key problem with how consumers and media creators interact.

Hype culture is the result of the process of elevating the consumer’s expectations through tantalizing press releases, trailers, demos, or other forms of marketing and promotion that are meant to produce “buzz”. After the product is promoted, consumers begin to jump on the bandwagon in anticipation for release.

But does this expectation always match with reality? To that, we turn to the case study of No Man’s Sky. What happened with No Man’s Sky, and why did it turn out the way that it did?

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Apple to Remove Headphone Jacks From iPhone 7

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Photo by markemark at Morguefile.com

Today’s news from CNET alerted me to Apple’s reveal of the iPhone 7. There were several bullet points mentioned in the article:

  • 7-inch “HD Retina display” is 25 percent brighter than last year’s model. It includes the pressure-sensitive 3D Touch layer that buzzes slightly when you press and hold the screen.
  • Customizable, pressure-sensitive, solid state home button that includes “taptic feedback”.
  • Yes, Virginia, it will be water-resistant (IP67), like several Samsung and Sony phones (IP68). Cannonballlll!
  • No headphone jack — Apple EarPods headphones will now connect through the Lightning connector port and the new AirPods headset connects wirelessly.

I did a double take at that last sentence. No headphone jack? Surely this was some sort of mistake. Apple wouldn’t make this kind of move, would it?

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Pokemon Gone

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Photo by DodgertonSkillhause at Morguefile.com

Many years ago, I attempted to take up the hobby of geocaching. Using nothing more than my wits and my GPS, I attempted to find small objects located in the physical world. Sadly, it never came to fruition. But, I remember being very fond of the idea.

Long before that, a pair of video games for the Nintendo Game Boy were released to mass acclaim. Those games were Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue. In those games, the player took on the role of an eleven year old boy sent out into the world to catch elusive creatures known as Pokemon.

After many iterations on Nintendo handhelds and console spinoffs, Pokemon finally received its first game on smartphones. Released on July, 6th, Pokemon Go quickly took the world by storm.

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Doxer’s Paradise

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Photo by lizdegagner at Morguefile.com

Originally, there was no plan to return to blogging. When I became motivated to produce content once more, I initially opted for YouTube. Due to the nature of my upcoming content, and my awareness of the climate of hostility on the site, I was fully aware that I would be subject to that hostility.

Of course, if a journalist doesn’t get someone mad it’s usually an indicator that they’re not doing their job properly. Nevertheless, I had to take precautions. With that were some considerations.

The first of considerations I made was the phenomenon known as “doxing”(also spelled “doxxing”). For the uninitiated, doxing is the publishing of personally identifiable information. This can include information such as a real name, personal address, phone number, email address, and social security number.

Before I go further, I wish to point out the fact: This is not a substitute for legal advice. I am not a lawyer. I would defer any and all expertise to them should a conflict between interpretations of the law arise. With that out of the way, we can begin properly.

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