Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CVGA Break Hours

The CVGA will be closed during break week, February 26 through March 6. In addition, the archive room will not open until 1pm on Friday, February 25.

Top Games: Week of February 14th

Here is the top games list from last week, with Kingdom Hearts for the PSP making a surprise appearance:

1. Fifa Soccer 11
1. Call of duty: Black Ops
3. Super Smash Bros. Melee
3. Starcraft II
5. NCAA Football 11
5. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
5. NBA 2K11
8. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep
8. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
10. Battlefield Bad Company 2

Friday, February 18, 2011

Video Games as Culture/Form

Students in Sheila Murphy's class SAC 368: Video Games as Culture/Form are this semester blogging about video games on their blog at

There are some great posts there and I invite you to give it a look-see.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Electronic Revelation

One of our regulars, Grace Lieb, wrote an article about the CVGA for LEAD Magazine, which never got to be published before she left the magazine. So here is the article, in its entirety. Thanks, Grace! 

SUBTITLE:  A Gamer’s Dreamland Awaits at the Most Well-Kept Secret on North Campus
BY: Grace Lieb

To Central Campus-Goers: you never thought that it was worth while paying a visit to North Campus, eh? You never thought that the monotonous, mind-numbing 15 minute bus ride would lead to anything significant, eh? Well listen, and listen good, because this next part is not going to be easy for me. I am about to sacrifice my oath of confidentiality to tell you about the grandest, most precious jewel on North Campus. Because I know that once I tell you, this technological treasure trove will never be the same calm, hushed reprieve again. Ok, here it goes: there’s a video game archive here. Yeah, a VIDEO GAME ARCHIVE. Sure, there are video games in the Union, but you have to cough up the cash for those. THIS IS FREE. 

Tucked away in the basement of the Art, Architecture, and Engineering Library in the Duderstadt Center, the Computer and Video Game Archive has every console ever created since the birth of gaming. From the NES to Playstation 3, from classic games like the Super Mario Bros. series to the newest, cutting-edge games like Assassin’s Creed II, there’s a niche for every kind of gamer. I don’t want to give away all the titles, though. After all, there are just too many to name in this meek article. 1,508, in fact.

So, how did this neat little fantasy become such a big reality? The Archive is the brainchild of David Carter, a librarian here at U of M. It launched in 2008 as an educational center for observing media effects, art design, and programming, but since then has become more than a sort of laboratory; it’s a center for fun. Walking into the Archive and feasting your eyes upon the giant wall adorned with video games is like walking into a room with an all-you-can-eat buffet: your senses overwhelm you; your mind whirls; you don’t know what to grab first because it all looks so good. The added bonus is the environment is serene and quiet (due to the provided headphones next to each gaming station), so you can play in peace.

Still not convinced this whole thing is worth your while? “It’s a place where you can go and have fun,” states School of Engineering freshman Lanxin Liu, “It’s just really cool how you can come here and relax.” Simply put, it’s a place to game your stresses away. Need a break from 24/7 studying? Clear your head with your favorite game. Want to hang out with friends? Round them up and play Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Whatever mood you’re in or motive you have, it’s just an enjoyable, friendly place to hang out. To sum it up, Elizabeth Caliman, an LSA junior who commutes frequently from Central to the Archive, observes, “It’s got a wide variety [of games], it’s free, it’s open 6 days a week, and the staff is great.” ‘Nuff said.

For the full video game catalog, hours, and phone number, visit

Monday, February 14, 2011

Top Games - Week of February 7th

Here are the top 10 games played in the archive last week, with Rock Band coming back into the mix:

1. (tie) Super Smash Bros. Melee   
1. (tie) FIFA soccer 11   
3. (tie) Super Smash Bros. Brawl   
3. (tie) NBA 2K11
3. (tie) Starcraft II   
6. Call of duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
7. (tie) Call of duty: Black Ops (PS3)
7. (tie) Battlefield Bad Company 2
7. (tie) NCAA football 11
10. Rock band 3

The New Game Room

The new game room in the basement is getting very close to being completely set up, and here are a couple of pictures of its new (cleaner) home:

We also decorated the place with a few fun decals from games that you might recognize:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hair! Long, Pixelated Hair!

Kotaku's got an interesting mini-post and graphic up discussing the history of hair in video games. More specifically, the history of bad hair in video games. As they point out:

Hair is one of the most difficult features of the human body to render accurately. Not only are there 100,000 pieces of it to account for on the head alone, each piece has unique behaviors and textures that dictate how they work together to give you that stylishly tousled look.
From Mega Man to Johnny Cage, Cloud Strife to Ulala, there are quite a few...questionable hair choices made by game graphics designers. Hopefully, video game developers of tomorrow have taken note of what not to do when it comes to hair.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Top Games - Week of January 31st

Here are our top games from last week - this time with Black Ops making the list twice because of people bringing in their own copies. We're still working on getting our Xbox 360 copy in:

1. Starcraft II
2. (tie) Super Smash Bros. Melee
2. (tie) Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
2. (tie) Battlefield: Bad Company 2
5. (tie) Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3)
5. (tie) Fifa Soccer 11
5. (tie) NBA 2K11
8. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Not our copy)
9. (tie) Sam and Max: Season 1
9. (tie) Super Smash Bros. Brawl

I noticed that football games didn't even come close last week, despite the Superbowl - everybody ready to move on finally?