Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Still in the Wrapping, Part 2

Another game of old has arrived still in the wrapping, this time from 1983. Oink! is for the Atari and explores the Three Little Piggies fairy tale from the wolf's point of view. Fortunately, we got another copy of the game as well, so this one will probably stay in the wrapping and be shown off in our display case.

Sometimes you just have to blow the house down.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Supreme Court Rules California Video Game Law is Unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled 7-2 in the Brown v. EMA (formerly Schwarzenegger v. EMA) case that a California law barring the sale of violent video games to minors was unconstitutional, saying that video games are a creative medium deserving of first amendment protection.

You can read the New York Times story, or check out the text of the complete decision (PDF).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Politicians Commenting on Video Games

Video games have received a lot of attention lately from politicians like Obama and Gore, and their messages don't always agree.

Gore was quoted at the 2011 Games for Change Festival today, praising the video game industry as a "very large, extremely significant industry with a wildly diverse and rapidly growing audience of players on all kinds of platforms," and gave several examples of games that "integrate social good and efforts to make the world a better place into games."

Obama, on the other hand, though not expressly against video games, has warned people of the dangers they present in distracting kids from family time, as well as their education.

And with the decision from the Supreme Court forthcoming about whether minors should be able to buy violent video games, it would seem that video games have been on the minds of a lot of government officials recently. Whatever your take on them, it certainly seems that they continue to garner more and more attention.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Violent Video Games and Minors

The Supreme Court is reportedly finishing up their assessment of an issue presented through a California court case back in November, which questions whether it should be legal to sell violent video games to minors.

Video games are currently regulated via the ESRB rating system, and certain ratings may be deemed illegal to sell to people who are underage.

Hear about the latest updates here, and let us know what you think of the issue.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Video Games Giving Young Brains a Workout

University of Michigan psychology professor Susanne M. Jaeggi was quoted today in an L.A. Times article about research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that explored the possibility of certain video games improving the reasoning and working memory ability of children who play them.

According to the researchers, the children have to want to play the games and not be pushed into doing them, and there has to be what Jaeggi calls a "delicate balance between too much or too little" in order for the games to be effective.

Read more about the research here.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Still in the Wrapping

Yesterday, we received a game ordered from eBay that was still in the wrapping. A common occurrence, right? Except this is an Intellivision game from 1982.

It's so nicely wrapped, and probably would be worth a pretty penny later on to some collector. And yet it's our job to test these games and prepare them to be used by our archive users. Because after all, games are meant to be played.

And yet it's so pretty in its unscuffed box. ...Could you open it?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Microsoft Announcements at E3 Conference 2011

Microsoft has just finished announcing the direction that they're going to be taking in the coming year, which seems to be all about:

- Partnerships with companies like YouTube
- Kinect support for voice commands
- An impressive list of new and reworked games for the Kinect, including Minecraft, Star Wars, & Lara Croft

You can keep up with the event live this week and follow major announcements here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Archivists Help Give "L.A. Noire" its Flavor

An article on KCET.org describes how researchers of the newly-released video game L.A. Noire used library and archive materials to inspire ideas for the game, from using old photography and maps to inspire the visuals, to scouring old newspapers for real-life crime stories that inspired the plots in the game.

Read more about it here.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Top Games - Month of May 2011

Here are our games for the month of May. For the first time, one of our board games (Settlers of Catan) tied for 11th in our top games list.

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
2. Super Smash Bros. Melee
3. Starcraft II
4. (tie) Super Smash Bros. Brawl
4. (tie) NBA 2K11
6. Fifa Soccer 11
7. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
8. X-men Origins
9. (tie) God of War III
9. (tie) Halo: Reach

Clearly the end of the Winter term hasn't deterred the Smashers and Starcraft fans from getting their practice in.