Tag: Video Games

Simulation, Revelation

 

The surest way to appreciate a work is to try to recreate it.

Toddlers help us to appreciate the difficulty of drawing or painting by their laughable scribbling. One might first pity the child’s lack of eye-hand coordination, lack of patience, or lack of barest attention to detail (“Is it an airplane? Oh, a cat! Of course, it is. It looks great!”). But few adults can sketch anything worthy of pride either. The more we advance in skill, the more we recognize the full challenge. 

Holy Thou Art

 

What does it mean for something to be holy? I think it means that a thing or person directs us to God or expresses His presence. Holiness is connected with pious awe. 

What artistic works seem holy to you? Which are the most peculiarly holy — holy in some unusual and perhaps less obvious sense? Is there some work of sculpture or architecture, painting or music, oration or literature that draws you closer to God in a way your associates don’t fully share? 

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There is not a clear line between them.  Novels are often considered more intellectually challenging than movies. But many readers prefer what I call “junk fiction” which, though respectable, offers thrills and little else. It’s mind candy to be enjoyed and quickly forgotten. Films can similarly offer shallow but pleasing content, of course.  Preview Open

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An article in Wired says: The future of virtual reality is far more than just video games. Silicon Valley sees the creation of virtual worlds as the ultimate free-market solution to a political problem. In a world of increasing wealth inequality, environmental disaster, and political instability, why not sell everyone a device that whisks them away […]

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‘A Gift to Humanity’

 

If we are to be unified, then we must be able and willing to share life. Bill Whittle and company offer a timely reminder of the tremendous good that social media can achieve when people are free to associate across boundaries and to enjoy life together as fellows.

A Sense of Wonder

 

Whether you are Christian or not, Christmas is a good time for renewal of innocence and wonder. The common sights of people excitedly opening gifts, decorating homes and public streets in lights, retelling stories of miracles and merriment — such experiences can rekindle in us a joyful pursuit of the good and the beautiful.

Cyberpunked

 

How does a game publisher lose over a billion dollars of value in a week? How does one of the industry’s most popular companies become its whipping boy overnight? Why might a product receive rave reviews at launch and disastrously critical reviews only a few days later? And what does it suggest about the industry at large?

Even to someone very familiar with the video games industry, the past week has been surprising and mystifying, but let me try to untangle the mystery based on public knowledge so far.

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What if Frodo was not the lead protagonist of The Lord of the Rings? What might the story be like if told through only one character’s perspective?  The same fictional world. The same setting of time, over-arching threats, characters great and small, etc. How might the events change if you guided Frodo’s decisions? Then start […]

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If the USA and the USSR let loose with the ICBMs, what would the world look like after? While I’ve read plenty of post apocalyptic literature, the game ATOM RPG constitutes the first serious study of what life might be like in the burned remnants of the old Soviet Union. (And if you were hoping […]

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Anders Hagstrom returns to the show to discuss the Big Tech menace (?), the Tik Tok menace (!), and the pleasures of video games (?!?).

Culture War in Video Games

 

More than half of American adults — yes, adults — play video games. Many of those “gamers” are playing Mahjong, Sudoku, or crossword puzzles on their phones; so it’s fair to say the statistics are often exaggerated (like calling golf or darts a sport). But since PC and dedicated console gaming picked up in the 1980s and have flourished into an industry rivaling Hollywood revenues and productions (indeed, Hollywood actors now commonly perform in video games), entire generations have grown up with the medium.

Games are just another option beside TV and novels as a way for responsible parents to wind down at night or share entertainment with the kids. And I don’t mean Pac-Man.

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While winding down before Christmas celebrations begin in earnest, I have been playing a park simulator. Jurassic World: Evolution is among this month’s “free” games on Xbox Live. It’s basically like designing and operating a zoo, only the exhibits are more likely to break free and eat the guests.  After learning the ropes at the […]

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It’s one thing to keep politics out of games, which I am still a proponent of doing. It’s another to unfairly and harshly punish voices that speak out against corruption, against abuses of human rights, and freedom…. But enough is enough. I stand with Hong Kong, and I oppose Blizzard’s obvious and laughably transparent fear […]

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We live in an age of information overload (however muddled by misinformation). With each decade, the potential for individual persons to learn about distant things improves. Books, radio, telephones, automobiles, television, internet, and many other innovations combine to provide access to pictures, stories, and people around planet Earth.  Among the most recent technological advances are […]

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Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion in [California Governor] Brown vs Entertainment Merchants Association in 2011.  [….] The State’s evidence is not compelling. California relies primarily on the research of Dr. Craig Anderson and a few other research psychologists whose studies purport to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects […]

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It was the best of games. It was the worst of games. This week E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) — the video game industry’s biggest annual gathering and press event — is spinning out a flurry of announcements in Los Angeles, like it always does. New platforms and services have been scheduled for release next […]

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Google’s presentation of its impressive new game streaming service began with images of boardgames, arenas, sports stadiums, and concert halls to show how entertainment has provided a social glue throughout history to bring people of different backgrounds and beliefs together in joy. Hence the name, Stadia.  “Create + Scale + Connect” are the three goals […]

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