Category Archives: Uncategorized

Let’s Discuss: Video Games aid in The Demise of Guys?

Originally posted BY MYASHARONA at GamerFitNation

Recently I came across a lecture by Psychologist Philip Zimbardo that had been posted to ted.com. In his discussion titled “The Demise of Guys”, Mr. Zimbardo  shares some statistics (lower graduation rates, higher rates of unemployment) and suggests a few reasons — and challenges the TED community to think about solutions.

Mr. Zimbardo talks about drop out rates, educational statistics, and social awkwardness among college aged males.

“[guys] don’t know the language of face contact, the non verbal and verbal set of rules that enable you to comfortably talk to somebody else and listen to somebody else.”  he says. 

What does he blame this ‘demise’ on?

“excessive internet use in general, excessive video games, and new access to pornography.” 

“Boys’ brains are being digitally rewired.” he says.

Have a listen for yourself:
http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

https://ted.com/talks/view/id/1206

Among his suggested reasons he calls upon video games as a contributing factor, even referring to the work of Jane McGonigal , for isolation and social ineptness.

I had the opportunity to hear Jane McGonigal speak this past March. While her views can be interpreted as overly optimistic she formidably challenges the stereotypes surrounding the usefulness and value in ‘games’.

Have a listen to her discussion “Gaming can make a Better World”:
http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf


“Gamers are virtuosos at weaving a tight social fabric. There is a lot of interesting research that shows that we like people better after we play a game with them. Even if they have beaten us badly. ” says Ms. McGonigal

“Playing a game together builds bonds and trust and cooperation. And we actually build stronger social relationships as a result.” -Jane McGonigal

So let’s discuss. We have two opposing ideas here. Are video games a contributing factor to the demise of guys or are they helping us build a better world? Is the stereotype of the socially awkward gamer still valid and if so is that awkwardness causing us to flunk out of school and life in general?

I may not be the best person to weigh in here for two reasons, firstly I am not a ‘guy’ in fact I’m a girl and secondly I was always academic despite my interests in technology, computers, and video games so I do not fit into his declining demographic.  However, as someone who shares social interactions with the very guys Mr. Zimbardo talks about, I may be inclined to disagree with him.

What do you think?

P.S. I don’t know about you but I always hold my controller at arm’s length. :p

Tell me your thoughts in response to these two lectures. Share your personal experiences and ideas. I want to hear from you!

GFN Spotlight: Mumble Server Host

Originally Posted BY MYASHARONA at GamerFitNation.com

GFN Spotlight: Mumble Server Host   MumbleServerHost.com

It’s time to start yelling at your friends!

We all do it, some better than others, some with laugher, others with rage but all with excited dedication and ferocity. I am of course talking about online gaming. Playing online multiplayer games has become such a huge phenomenon over the past 20 years that, well, it is no longer a phenomenon. And if you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where another player in your game was trying to chat with you, and all while you are exerting your best efforts to frag the n00b or lead the raid by way of keyboard, acronyms, and text interfaces, then you aren’t doing it right.

Mumble Server Host believes that communication is key to serious gameplay. After all, your games have evolved, your rig has evolved, so why hasn’t your voice chat client?

“I think communicating via VOIP while playing computer games can help the mental status of many gamers.  If you are sitting in a room alone for hours and never speak to another soul….well that can really destroy your social skills over time.” Says MumbleServerHost founder Tim Ross.

As a gamer himself Tim developed MSH when his Bad Company 2 clan (No Fly Zone – NFZclan.com) needed a new chatroom provider. “I decided to try hosting my own Mumble VOIP chatroom instead of going to with the same old Ventrilo providers we had used in the past.  I could not believe how easy it was to setup a Mumble server and how little bandwidth it used so I decided to start a hosting service.”

And with that a new option emerged.

“We service guilds and clans that play most of the popular MMO’S and first person shooters.  MSH runs servers in the United States and Europe and offers full 128kbps bandwidth to its customers.  All of our Mumble servers come with a web site based control panel for easy web based server administration.”

But what makes MSH truly unique is that it is run and used by the exact same people who subscribe to the service. “We are gamers who love Mumble and how crystal clear it is compared to Ventrilo.”

“The Mumble Server Host software was designed mainly for interactive gaming but, it can also be used by businesses and corporations to hold off site meetings.”

Mumble is similar to popular VOIP programs such as Ventrilo and TeamSpeak but with lower latency and innovative features such as live overlay and positional sound. And they continue to strive for more. Knowing what the gaming community wants MSH recently released a website widget that allows customers to display that current status view of their Mumble server on their website. You can see an example of this widget in action.


MSH is also working on an Android app to allow its Mumble server admins to view and manage their servers via their Android based phones and tablets.

You’ll also find MSH supports the gaming community by way or regular contributions to Child’s Play Charity , a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games through over 60 hospitals worldwide.

Bred out of the gaming world itself, BY gamers and FOR gamers, Mumble Server Host is our newest GamerFitNation Spotlight. Keeping gamers connected, interactive, and engaged both mentally and verbally with one another, we say  Thank You to Mumble Server Host for taking the time to talk to us about their gamer created service.

If you’d like to sign up or learn more about Mumble Server Host have a look at these extrodinary features and then head on over to the official website.  MumbleServerHost.com

Service Features Include

• FREE 7 Day trial.
Cancel anytime during your 7 day trial and be charged nothing.
 
• You server will be located at a custom domain name.
myserver.mumbleserverhost.com
 
• Web based Mumble Server Control Panel.
Set and change your server passwords.
Kick users and manage your user bans.
View who is currently on your Mumble Server.
 
• Voice quality at 128 kbps for extreme clarity.
Mumble uses the high quality CELT codec for crystal clear voice clarity.
Mumble’s extreme clarity blows away similar progams such as Ventrilo and Teamspeak.
 
• Customizable Web Script
Place your Mumble Server on your Guild Web site or Forum..
 
• $ 0.25 a month per user.
We accept Paypal.
 
• Instant Setup After Payment!
Start gaming together in minutes.
 
• 99.9% Server Uptime.
Server located on Tier 1 Networks.
 
• No Bandwidth Limitations.
Game together as often as you like.
 
• Professional Support
Experienced network technicians.
 
• Overlay support for games
See who is talking while in game.
 
• Online server control panel.
Manage your Mumble server from the site.

GFN Spotlight

GFN Spotlight: JoggingBuddy.com

In our ongoing quest for a balanced lifestyle that includes gaming and health, it’s no surprise that gamers like to turn to technology, and specifically the internet, to aid us in that quest. From accessing information, to tracking our progress and success, to connecting with people worldwide, technology and the internet have given us more options than ever before.

The people at JoggingBuddy.com are bringing local runners together in new and exciting ways. Created by runners, for runners, the website aims to help members create lasting friendships and find motivation from running with other members on the website. How does it do that? JoggingBuddy is a global website with members in 71 countries and growing.  Members can enjoy the camaraderie that only exist between runners who have faced and triumphed in common goals.  Members come from all walks of life and all abilities, whether you’re a power walker, jogger, runner or a tri-athlete or experienced ultra marathoner, they can all be found at Joggingbuddy.com

Read more about JoggingBuddy at GamerFitNation.com

VYou, no, VYOU!

Okay, no I am not making an attempt to create a new curse word or revive an old one (as previous attempts resulted unsuccessful) but I AM in fact telling you about this nifty new tool that all the hip cats are purring about.

Vyou is still in beta but it is a take on the formspring accounts we all seem to love and/or hate but now with moving video! It’s like the not to distant future!

You’ll find all sorts of gaming peeps on there that you can ask questions of. Folks from GiantBomb and Kotaku and so on. And yes.. I’ve decided it was my turn to throw my hat in the ring and try out this clever beta.

As a strong advocate of webcam use, I was all over this like milk on cereal… dry dry cereal.

So let’s give it a try together before we review this nifty new service shall we?

Go on, let the ridiculousness commence.

http://www.vyou.com/myasharona

 

Video Games Live Tour

 

Dear Santa,

Video Games Live kicked off an extensive 42 date tour this last Thursday Nov 4th in MI, and I’d like to go to one.

Video Games Live features the best music and exclusive synchronized video clips from the most popular games from the beginning of video gaming to the present and according to the official website, VGL is “…an immersive concert event featuring music from the most popular video games of all time. Top orchestras & choirs perform along with exclusive video footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting, solo performers, electronic percussionists, live action and unique interactive segments to create an explosive entertainment experience!”.

Bottom line, it looks amazing.

The show includes game demos, cosplay, giveaways and the kind of meet and greets you find at your local annual con.

 

 

To read more of this article and find out about tour dates and location, check out my article at GirlGamer.com

Continue Reading

Disney Epic Mickey is on the way!

Disney is on the way with their upcoming and highly anticipated title, Disney Epic Mickey, by Junction Point Studios and Disney Interactive Studios. This title is a game rooted deeply in storytelling and intended to grab the audience and immerse them in a truly interactive story.

“I believe that video games tell stories as deep and as sophisticated as movies, books or any other medium.” said Warren Spector, general manager and creative director, Disney Interactive Studios’ Junction Point, about their upcoming release, Epic Mickey.

Read more of this article HERE at GirlGamer.com

More over at GG

Recently posted was my peek into the FanExpo panel of Yoshitaka Amano

Have a look!  Click HERE

Top Ten Goofy Grin Generating Game Weapons

Top Ten Goofy Grin Generating Game Weapons

As first posted on YourHealthisLow

#10 The Duck Hunt Gun/NES Zapper

Yes I realize that the mere presence of this on list which will inevitably miss some important life altering weaponry for the majority of gamers may cause a few jeers… for many the Duck Hunt gun was one of the coolest controllers…er… weapons to hit our living rooms. The zapper provided hours of fun shooting at not only ducks but clay pigeons, title screens and annoying siblings all over living rooms everywhere!

#9 Original Half life – Crowbar

Gordon’s arm holding this iconic weapon is an image that can be thought of fondly. From bashing open crates to clearing debris to bludgeoning enemies in close range combat; the crowbar is not the most elegant or sophisticated of weapons but dammit, it got the job done and without it what would you and Gordon have been able to achieve? The Half Life crowbar, for these reasons, remains a steadfast symbol of survival.

#8 The Duke Nukem Shrink Ray

The Shrink Ray Gun from Duke Nukem is one fabulous , effective weapon that creates absolutely zero damage. The ability to reduce your enemies to inches and then automatically trample them when near enough, is astoundingly fun. Just be sure to run like the wind once shrunken yourself, and plot your revenge while you wait for the effects to wear off.

#7 Soldier of Fortune Flame Gun

Soldier of Fortune brought gore to a controversy creating level. Being scrutinized heavily by both Canada and Germany for its violent content the game gave us many weapons to love. The ability to ‘remove’ appendages from enemies with carefully skilled shots coupled with goreiffic consequences made this game prime picking for all time weaponry. Despite the weapons of great technology and precision, the Flame Gun is one  heck of a fun way for creating a lot of damage very quickly!

#6 Metal Gear from Metal Gear

From the original begrudgingly created Metal Gear to Metal Gear REX, The ultimate wearing nuclear weapon is oft overlooked. Creating so much controversy among its creators, owners, and obtainers, this game weapon has me squeal with delight after all the anguish and overly complicated plot twists it takes to finally reach this ominous example of game weaponry.

#5 The Chainsaw – Doom, Resident Evil, others

No matter the game there is always room for chainsaw killing action. First winning my heart in Doom, and continuing the bloody love affair in Resident Evil and all that is in between, the chainsaw is a big disgusting mess of destruction. Guaranteed not to be clean a clean killing weapon; watching the splitter splatter of enemies’ innards is bound to create that big goofy grin, or sly smirk as only a chainsaw can do.

#4  Quake’s Rocket Launcher.

The sheer ability that the rocket launcher in Quake gives you is delightful.  in multiplayer death matches the rocket launcher is undisputable. If you aren’t sure why Quake’s rocket launcher can put a big goofy grin of weaponry destruction upon a gamer’s  face then you have neither hit with or been hit by one of these deadly weapons. I urge you to rectify this handicap post haste!

#3 Gears of War2 – Lancer

This weapon is a bayonet chainsaw and assault riffle and has become synonymous with the game. Whether releasing approximately 15 rounds per second into your enemies or tearing them to shreds during melee combat is your thing, the Lancer is for you! Hold down that B button and hear that thing rev up. Mmm.

#2 Unreal Tournament’s Redeemer

Though tricky with it’s POV use, the Redeemer is undoubtedly one of the most satisfying weapons to use well. The weapon is more effective at close range followed by a quick escape and though it may leave you vulnerable longer than desired you can not deny the wildly gratifying kill at the end of a challenging steer towards the ultimate demise of your enemy.

#1. BFG – Doom

No surprises here. No matter whether you agree or disagree Doom’s BFG is renowned for its immense level of destruction. The first time you fire the BFG you are awestruck and you may even release a whispered curse. As a 13 year old FPS explorer, at the time, I can tell you I did just that.   The colossal devastation that is the BFG is only questioned if you have yet to experience it; in this case, hello! And welcome to the wonderful world of video games 😀

The mailman stole my heart.

Sometimes, in the midst of a horrible series of happenings something good comes about. Today my gem was receiving my review copy of Metroid: Other M for the wii. I can’t wait to play it but with such a busy week I know Friday will be the soonest I can manage to it. Oooh Samus, what have you got in store for me now? 😀

I will be reviewing this game for http:/www.Girlgamer.com

Miles Edgeworth and Me.

Originally posted at YourHealthisLow

Miles Edgeworth and Me.

Posted by Sharon on August 10, 2010 · 3 Comments

Ace Attorney Logo

Review. Ace Attorney: Investigations

My relationship with Miles Edgeworth began on a whim and a confident recommendation.

Walking in to one of the three game stores I visit on a regular basis, I was met with a new young female associate busy answering a barrage of questions from the seemingly growing group fans. After the satisfied crowd subsided, not purchasing anything, she headed my way and offered assistance.

Just as with every new associate I now go to for my gaming needs, I asked her one important question.

What do you recommend?

Disclaimer: Now this is a risky tactic and I do not recommend asking that question unless you are prepared for the possible answer. I have been recommended every level/genre of game by using this tactic and have followed through every time. I once walked out of a store with a copy of Celebrity DeathMatch for the PS2 because the associate assured me that my ragtag group of friends and I would be in hysterics.

The only thing in hysterics was that associate as I drove away.

Much to my surprise as I stood there with my purchase of Fallout3, the young gamestress recommended the DS title Ace Attorney: Investigations. I asked her a bit about her experiences with the game, purchased it, and put it away for some time. The trepidation of this title came to me in the thought that the game would be ‘too slow’, ‘too anime’ or ‘too childish’. I didn’t play the game for quite some time because I did not anticipate it would be MY cup of tea.

I judged the game before I played it.

Miles Edgeworth is not a new concept, Ace Attorney: Investigations is the fifth game in the Ace Attorney series. By Capcom, the game is available on the DS but has seen life on the GBA, PC, WiiWare and even Iphone.  (you can see Jay’s June review of the Iphone title Pheonix Wright: Ace Attorney here!) This title, released in North America in February of 2010, was the second best selling DS title in Japan after their 2009 release and received relatively positive reviews from online reviewers.

Ace Attorney: Investigations is an adventure title that reminded me strongly of the parser based adventure games from my youth. The point and click gameplay is all that you will require to understand aside from some basic movement controls of Miles Edgeworth, our main character. Throughout the game your goal is to collect and present evidence in order to complete the specific case file that you are solving at the time. You will have an opportunity to examine crime scenes, press your witness’ testimony, raise objections and make clear deductions based on your line of logic. Be careful when making your connections, an incorrect deduction or connection can result in the loss of health from your health bar. Once all your health is gone you start again at the beginning of your case file. Connecting evidence and testimony in Miles’ line of logic can sometimes happen with great ease and at other times can take more effort; his logic sometimes taking a rather illogical route.

Ace Attorney: Investigations has a broad cast of characters, some you will know from other Ace Attorney titles such as the proposed main character of this title, Ema Skye, and others who are new to the series such as spunky teen Kay Faraday. The game takes place in ‘the field’ which is contrary to the courtroom setting of previous titles featuring Pheonix Wright. One of your cases is aboard a plane, while another in an amusement park, allowing for scenery changes and comical situations.

The sounds, the music and the characters all mesh together wonderfully in an amusing over the top and purposely dramatic ensemble of accusation and rebuttal. The facial and verbal expressions are animated in a comical fashion and one can not help but be enthralled with the word filled starburst that appears as a character shouts “NOT SO FAST!”

The character design, costumes and hairstyles, will spark even the non cosplayer to take note and reconsider and the disjointed but continuous plot will propel you through the game.

Overall the game played like a good book. A good, choose your own adventure book. There is a lot of reading, compelling characters and lots of wrong turns that will eventually deduce you to the correct line of reasoning. The game has quotable lines and quirky moments that add comic relief to the seriousness of finding a dead body in the garage and a ransom style kidnapping investigation. If you are a fan of point and click adventure games than Ace Attorney Investigations is a worthy title.

So while I may have doubted the tastes of the new young associate at one of my favorite game shops I find myself inherently glad that I took a risk and the opportunity to appreciate the aspects of a gaming genre I may not ever have paid notice of before. I’ve gone outside my comfort zone and returned with fingers pointing,shouting EURIKA!