One of the chief criticisms levied at the Apple Watch in particular, and at smartwatches in general, is that there’s not really much you can do on such a small screen. So while we’re still waiting for developers to figure out how to squeeze a compelling gaming experience onto a small display, how about we sit back and watch Half-Life running on an LG G Watch.
Video games are well-known for depicting unrealistic versions of both male and female bodies. Often times, and perhaps more often with female characters, the body types used are so exaggerated that some become laughably unrealistic.
Though often exaggerated in popular culture, the old stereotype about gamers being overweight isn’t entirely without merit. A 2009 study, for instance, found that gamers do, in fact, tend to be on the heavier side of the scale relative to the population at large.
But might it be possible for video games to actually help gamers lose weight? Researchers at the University of Exeter believe so, as evidenced by a new study which shows that certain types of mental training can directly result in gamers consuming up to 220 fewer calories each day. Over time, that amounts to nearly two pounds of weight loss per month.
Forget about the gargantuan screens of today’s modern smartphones, if you want to play video games on a mega screen, you’ve got to check out the Game Boy XXL.
As the name implies, Game Boy XXL is a fully functional and absolutely gigantic Game Boy that can play all of your favorite Game Boy games of yore, from Tetris to Dr. Mario and everything in between. Even better, because the device is one gigantic emulator (powered by software from the retropie project), it can also play ROMs from other console systems, including the original NES, Atari, and Sega.
Video games have gotten a bad rap for years now. They create killers, many critics like to claim. They glorify criminal behavior, some politicians often shout.
But often left out of the video game discussion is how video games can actually be helpful to a child’s intellectual development. While it may sound a bit outlandish at first, video games can often help kids hone their problem solving skills, sometimes without them even realizing it. What’s more, kids who really love video games often start trying their hand at making their own, a sentiment recently articulated by none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who credits his childhood love of video games with turning him into a programmer.
Earlier this week, gamers rejoiced amidst news that Nintendo is planning to bring some of its most storied and beloved franchises to smartphones and tablets. As we highlighted earlier in the week, this is an opportunity Nintendo has long neglected, not only to the detriment of gamers, but to its own bottom line as well.
Nintendo sits on a gold mine of underutilized properties. It hasn’t been bothered to do another Advance Wars game despite its rabid global fan base that would pay $70 a pop for a new iteration. It has lost its passion for Castlevania and Metroid. It has neglected the clever little puzzle games that defined the early Nintendo DS years. Many of these franchises are perfect fits for tablet. Advance Wars games were practically designed to be played on large touch screens and came out years before tablets were even on the market.
While it remains to be seen what type of games Nintendo and its mobile gaming partner DeNA bring to the table, it’s worth noting that Nintendo’s legendary ace-in-the-hole game designer won’t be involved in the process.
Have you ever gotten so addicted to a video game (I’m looking at you, Civilization!) that you’ve foregone eating and not felt hungry until after you’ve stopped playing? Well it turns out that there’s a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. Researchers at Plymouth University’s Cognition Institute in the United Kingdom have found that playing Tetris for a certain period of time actually seems to reduce natural cravings such as hunger. Essentially, the researchers claim that having an interactive visual stimulus such as Tetris or other video games in front of you can replace your cravings for a little bit. The researchers conclude that “Tetris might be a useful task for tackling cravings outside the laboratory,” although we’re unlikely to see a Tetris diet in the near future and forsaking food to play video games probably isn’t the healthiest way to lose weight.
While violent video games are often unfairly used as scapegoats for mass shootings, scientists have found that playing violent video games for several hours a day every day actually can do bad things to your sense of morality. BBC News reports that researchers at Brock University in Canada have found that “over-exposure” to violent games can weaken teenagers’ sense of right and wrong and can lower their ability to develop empathy for others. Lacking a sense of right and wrong and lacking empathy are, of course, two primary traits of sociopaths. More →
Thanks to a few huge fall releases, video game sales managed to improve year-over-year once again in October, according to the latest numbers sent to us by the NDP Group. This makes for the third month of positive growth for the industry, an estimated $1.3 billion in total consumer spending that signifies a 5% jump over October 2012. The Nintendo 3DS led the hardware segment for the sixth consecutive month, in part due to 2DS sales, although overall hardware sales were down 8% from last year. With the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One this month, hardware sales should see a major surge in November, but for now, Nintendo still has the best-selling console on the market. More →
Last month Rockstar set the gaming world — and lots of virtual police cars — on fire with the release of Grand Theft Auto V, the game that made $1 billion in a weekend. USA Today shared the NPD Group’s video game sales report for September on Friday and revealed that after months of subpar results, overall retail sales were up 27% from August. These improved sales were mostly thanks to GTA V, which accounted for more than half of all game sales revenues on the month. “Grand Theft Auto represented over 50% of dollar sales in September, and had the highest first month sales than any other previous launch in the Grand Theft Auto franchise,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. More →
The thriving video game industry has struggled in recent years to maintain the momentum it developed over the last decade, but according to a recent report from the NPD Group, August 2013 represents the first month for year-over-year growth in sales since October 2011. The report states that retail sales “grew a modest 1% over August 2012 as growth in software and accessories offset soft hardware sales as we near the launch of the Xbox One and PS4.” More →
There are a lot of valid reasons to not play too many video games, but the idea that they’ll rot your brain may no longer be one of them. The Wall Street Journal reports on a new study conducted by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco showing that “older adults improved cognitive controls such as multitasking and the ability to sustain attention by playing a specially designed video game.” In fact, the study even shows that certain video games can even produce long-lasting improvements in conditions such as attention-deficit disorder and depression. This doesn’t mean that all games are potentially helpful for mental illnesses, of course, and the scientists emphasize that it’s far too early to tell whether gaming is a net positive or negative for mental faculties.
The stereotypical gamer is often thought of as a young male who possibly lives in his parents’ basement. In reality, this isn’t the case. According to research published by the Entertainment Software Association, nearly half of all gamers, or 47%, are female and the average age of gamers in 2012 was 30 years old. Interestingly enough, woman 18 and older represent a significantly greater number of the game-playing population, 30%, than boys aged 17 or younger, who represent 18%. Adult males, however, have been playing games longer than their female counterparts, an average of 16 years compared to 12 years. Smartphones and tablets have shaken up the gaming industry, and mobile games have been successful in appealing to young and old consumers. The average U.S. household owns at least one dedicated game console, PC or smartphone. In fact, the ESA’s survey found that 33% of respondents play games on their mobile devices, with the most popular category being casual games such puzzles, card games and trivia. More →