Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Just About Every Game System Ever

Courtesy of the Website Elder-Geek here's The Insane Console History Video 2.0, a long (over 23 minutes!) slide show of nearly every home video game system ever:

The Insane Console History Video 2.0 from Elder-Geek on Vimeo.

We obviously have a long way to go in the archive!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We Like to MOVE It (Move It!)

Last week we added the new PlayStation Move to the archive. The Move is the motion control system for the PS3, basically their answer to the Nintendo Wii, along with the bundled launch game Sports Champions (more Move-compatible games are on the way...)

My initial reactions are mixed. The Move controllers offer a great degree of accuracy and realism in the motion games, but sometimes at the expense of playability. Whereas with the Wii it is very easy to pick up and start playing, the Move requires a lot more practice to use. Of course, the real test of the Move will come as more games become available and developers get used to the new control system.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Top Games - Week of September 20th

Here are the top ten games played in the archive last week:

1. Starcraft II
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
3. Super Smash Bros. Melee
4. (tie) Dante's Inferno
4. (tie) FIFA 2010 World Cup South Africa
6. (tie) Super Smash Bros. Brawl
6. (tie) NCAA Football 11
8. (tie) Metal Gear Solid 4
8. (tie) Fifa Soccer 09
10. Trauma Team

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy 121st Birthday Nintendo!

On this day back in 1889 Fusajiro Yamauchi founded Nintendo in order to manufacture playing cards.

121 years later, it has all led to this:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Today we're here to mourn the passing of a good friend, who has been with us at the archive through hours and hours each day - through delighted cheers, pangs of terrible disappointment, and moments of rising up through nearly unbeatable odds and attempting the impossible.

A friend that has brought people together who never would have known each other except through a common interest, venturing forth through the awkward silences of strangers and bringing people together from all walks of life and majors in order to accomplish a common goal.

Fifa 10 disk, we salute you.

Surviving through the throngs of people who mishandle you each day, spinning patiently as people curse and belittle you for game errors that clearly have nothing to do with user error, we at the archive have watched from the sidelines, quietly admiring your determination and strength and wondering how long you were going to last. You are one of our first games to die of natural causes, not as a result of being dropped, scratched or abused (although you were, dear friend), but instead your sad end came from falling apart from old age and sheer use.

Your memory will stay in our hearts through many tests and trials as an inspiration for every obnoxious sports-game-loving group that comes in to skip class and play just one more game. At least till we replace you with Fifa 11, and then they probably won't think of you too often. But we will, we archive workers who have long called you friend.

Goodbye, Fifa 10 disk, goodbye.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Top Games - Week of September 13th

Here are the top ten games played in the archive last week:

1. Starcraft II
2. (tie) Super Smash Bros. Melee
2. (tie) Fifa Soccer 10 (Xbox 360)
4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
5. (tie) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
5. (tie) NCAA Football 11
7. (tie) God of War 3
7. (tie) Trauma Team
7. (tie) Gears of War 2
10. Shin Megumi Tensei: Persona 4

Trauma Team is getting ever more popular, and has some pretty great reviews, mostly praising how much more achievable it is in comparison to some of its more complicated predecessors. The stories behind some of the characters are fairly engaging as well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday, Mario!

I'm not sure how I missed this, but yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros. Although Mario appeared in games prior to Super Mario Brothers - 1981's Donkey Kong, 1982's Donkey Kong Junior (which featured Mario as a villain!), and 1983's Mario Bros. (which introduced Luigi) - it was Super Mario Bros. that made Mario world-famous and saved the video game industry. Prior to the release of Super Mario Bros., sales of consoles and games had collapsed, hurt by a glut of poorly made games from developers and publishers for systems like the Atari, Intellevision, and ColecoVision. Mario, along with the NES console it was packaged with, was largely responsible for the resurrection of the industry, which has persisted to this day.

In honor of this occasion, The Guardian's web site published a list of 25 facts about the portly plumber. See how many of them you are familiar with!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Top Games: Week of Sept. 6th

Here are the top ten games played in the archive last week:

1. Starcraft II
2. (tie) Super Mario Galaxy 2
2. (tie) Super Smash Bros. Brawl
4. Super Smash Bros. Melee
5. (tie) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
5. (tie) FIFA 2010 World Cup South Africa
5. (tie) Fifa Soccer 10
8. Super Smash Bros.
9. (tie) Metal Gear Solid 4
9. (tie) Alan Wake

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rock Band-a-Palooza! - Tuesday

Rock Band-a-Palooza!

Tuesday, September 14 (During Northfest), 11am - 2pm.

In the Duderstadt Center Gallery.

Play Rock Band on a giant screen!

Sponsored by the MLibrary Computer & Video Game Archive.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome Back to the CVGA!

The fall semester is back upon us, and so we return to our regular hours: Mon Noon- 9pm; Tue - Fri 10am - 9pm; Sat 1pm - 9pm (closed Sunday). Actually that's an expansion on our Saturday hours from last year, as we're now opening on Saturdays two hours earlier.

A new(-ish) face in the archive: Joe Dresch, who some of you may remember as our intern during hte summer of ’09, is now back with us to fill in for the departed Sarah. Joe will be the 'adult in charge' in the archive for a few hours every day, along with the returning Doug and Val. I may pop in from time to time, and you may see Ben filling in occasionally as well. Be kind to your helpful CVGA monitors!

We added many new games over the summer, so be sure to stop by and check them out. Remember that you can keep up on all of the games we add by following the RSS feed at

A lot of great new games will be arriving over the next few weeks/months, including Halo Reach, FIFA 11; Dead Rising 2; Call of Duty: Black Ops; Fable III; Fallout: New Vegas; LitteBigPlanet 2; Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II; Kirby's Epic Yarn; Epic Mickey; Rock Band 3; Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock; and more.

Speaking of Rock Band, we have another big-screen event planned: Tuesday Sept 14, during Northfest, in the Duderstadt Center Gallery. Drop on in and rock on!

Also coming up are the new motion systems for the PS3 (PlayStation Move) and the X-Box 360 (Kinect).

We have even more big plans in the works for the archive that I can't talk about quite yet, but believe me when I say they are exciting...!

Top Games - Week of August 30th

Here are the top ten games played in the archive last week:

1. Super Monkey Ball
2. (tie) Lego Star Wars
2. (tie) Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09
4. Fifa 06 Soccer
5. (tie) Super Mario Galaxy
5. (tie) Battletoads
5. (tie) Adventure
5. (tie) Adventure Collections, The
5. (tie) Boom Blox
5. (tie) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Quite a mix of different games in the interim before Fall classes started. And hardly any Fifa? Shocking.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another Perspective on Violence and Video Games

With one of the top video game blogs dedicating this week to posts about gamers’ love affairs with guns, and with several bloggers in the past month or two also discussing violence in video games, I thought it was a good time to analyze what’s being said and how it differs from the usual take on video games and violence. Before I do that, though, I’d like to introduce myself.