Category Archives: Game culture

British Games Institute cements UK cultural hub for video games

BGI merger with Nottingham’s National Videogame Arcade creates ‘centre of gravity’ for the UK’s £1bn-plus games industry – but it’s still seeking government support

The recently formed British Games Institute, which aims to become a video game equivalent of the BFI, is merging with the National Videogame Foundation to create a new body dedicated to supporting and promoting game development and culture in Britain.

The British Games Institute will be housed at the NVA’s National Videogame Arcade building in Nottingham, where a games museum as well as cultural and educational programmes have been in operation since 2016.

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Source: gadt

Call me Mr Monster Hunter: the man who guided a Japanese curiosity to global success

Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World is the fastest-selling game in its history. But for 10 years, the series struggled to find success outside Japan. What changed?

Wherever you looked in Japan in 2008, someone was bent over a tiny PlayStation Portable games console (PSP) – and that someone was probably playing Monster Hunter. From clusters of young people playing on groomed lawns outside universities to suited salarymen on packed trains, the game had friends, family and work colleagues banding together to track and fight gigantic fantasy creatures. You had a good chance of finding a game to join if you pulled out your PSP in any public place.

More than 40m Monster Hunter games, by Japanese developer Capcom, were sold between 2004 and 2017, but its success was confined almost entirely to its home country. Everything changed this year, though. When Monster Hunter World came out in January, it become not only the bestselling game in the series, but also the fastest selling game in Capcom’s history, selling 6m copies in less than a month. And much to the delight of long-time Monster Hunter players, it’s proved as popular in the US and Europe as it has in Japan.

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Source: gadt

Dead Space was to games what Alien was to movies

Now available free on PC, Dead Space came closer than any other game to replicating the look, feel and atmosphere of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi thriller

This week, Electronic Arts has made one of the most interesting and atmospheric narrative games of the 2000s available for free to users of its Origin gaming service. Released in 2008 and created by Californian studio Visceral Games, Dead Space remains a heady, often terrifying thrill ride and if you’ve never played it before, it’s worth taking this chance – especially if you’re a fan of the Alien movies.

Although there have been numerous attempts to bring Alien directly to video games – most successfully, Creative Assembly’s incredibly tense Alien: Isolation – it’s Dead Space that has got closest to replicating the look, feel and atmosphere of Ridley Scott’s original film.

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Source: gadt

A pirate's life for me: Rare's ambitious plans for Sea of Thieves revealed

The Xbox and PC online multiplayer pirate adventure will boast sea monsters and skeleton forts – and this is only the beginning

When the veteran British games studio Rare first revealed Sea of Thieves in 2015, it’s fair to say the response was positive. After years spent concentrating on the controversial Kinect device, the creator of luscious SNES and N64 classics Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie unveiled an online pirate adventure where groups of friends would set sail on an open ocean, seeking out treasure and doing battle with other player crews. It felt like the beloved developer had truly returned.

Two years later, anticipation remains high. Within five hours of the recent closed beta test going live, it was the most watched game on streaming service Twitch, beating even the mighty League of Legends. In the end, more than 300,000 people signed up to play, spending 2m hours and completing 400,000 quests in the week-long test.

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Source: gadt

Dreams: the video game that unlocks the suppressed artist within us all

Ever yearned to chisel a sculpture, compose a symphony or design a gigantic neon metropolis? A riveting game from the makers of LittleBigPlanet unleashes your suppressed artist

Most homes hide abandoned easels, guitars and origami kits, all bought with good intentions to express the latent creativity that grownup life can easily stifle. You might want to unlock it, but the effort is too intimidating.

Media Molecule, a game developer based in Guildford, believes that video games can help. A studio populated by artists, musicians and creatives of all stripes, it is best known for the successful LittleBigPlanet games – cheerful adventures with a hand-crafted look and a novel “play, create, share” philosophy, letting players remix the levels and make their own. Taking this idea further, Media Molecule has spent the past five years working on Dreams, a PlayStation 4 game that lets players create and share little worlds. Due for release later this year, the game offers a potential for creativity beyond what any other video game has attempted.

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Source: gadt

'Dangerous gaming': is the WHO right to class excessive video game play as a health disorder?

Industry figures question research that ‘pathologises’ compulsive gaming, while scientist involved defends move to address addiction

The World Health Organization (WHO) has included “gaming disorder” in its draft for the next edition of its diagnostic manual, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which is due for final release this year. The disorder is characterised by behaviours such as impaired control of time spent playing video games and prioritisation of gaming above other activities, in a way that negatively affects other areas of a person’s life such as their education, occupation and relationships.

Games industry bodies the US Entertainment Software Association (ESA) and UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) have expressed doubts about the classification. “We are very concerned about the inconclusive nature of the research and the evidence that WHO is using to base this potential classification on,” says Ukie’s chief executive, Jo Twist.

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Source: gadt

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell loses award after sexism outcry

Major video game industry event reverses its decision to honour Bushnell following claims of improper conduct

A major video game industry event has cancelled its decision to honour Atari founder Nolan Bushnell after attention was drawn to well-documented examples of a sexist culture at the company he oversaw in the 1970s.

Bushnell was due to receive the Pioneer award at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in March, recognising his 40 years of involvement in the industry. Together with Ted Dabney, he set up Atari in 1972, developing the seminal arcade machine Pong, before manufacturing the Atari 2600, one of the first home video game consoles.

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Source: gadt

Nintendo announces new Mario film with Minions studio

Illumination and Nintendo to co-finance an animated Mario film, produced by Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri

Nintendo has announced that a new film featuring its iconic character Mario has entered into development. The Japanese video game giant is partnering with Illumination Entertainment, the American film and animation studio behind Despicable Me.

Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the Mario series of video games, will produce the film with Illumination’s CEO Chris Meledandri. It will be distributed by Universal Pictures.

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Source: gadt

The video games industry isn’t yet ready for its #MeToo moment | Keza MacDonald

Journalists pestering women in the industry won’t help – there are good reasons why few have spoken out so far

A couple of weeks after the Weinstein revelations, the emails started coming. Some weren’t even personalised. “Hello, prominent woman in the video games industry. I am a reporter trying to unmask sexual predators. Is this something you would be willing to talk about? If not, do you know anyone else who will?” Women working in video game development and media, especially those who are outspoken about gender equality in the games industry’s notoriously unbalanced workforce – which, according to the most recent Independent Game Developers Association survey, is 79% male – have been getting these missives for months.

Related: The Aziz Ansari furore isn’t the end of #MeToo. It’s just the beginning | Sarah Solemani

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Source: gadt

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds – nihilistic, violent and the perfect game for our era

In this hugely popular Battle Royale-style game, all nuance is gone – it’s nothing but rage and death

The island of Erangel is kind of beautiful. It has rolling hills and lush valleys, and there are little villages dotted along the coastlines. Just one thing, though. Everyone here wants to kill you.

This is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), the hit online multiplayer game that sold more than 24m copies last year. Originally developed as a modification of the military shooting sim, Arma 2, it’s now a standalone release on PC and Xbox One and fans are obsessed with it. Inspired by the Hunger Games books and movies, as well as Kinji Fukasaku’s cult film Battle Royale, it sees 100 players being dropped on to the island, before searching for useful items such as backpacks, body armour and guns and then trying to kill each other. The last player standing wins.

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Source: gadt