Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Game collections spreading in academia

Our fearless leader Dave was recently quoted in an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, which explored the growing prevalence of game collections within academic libraries.

According to the article, some institutions have had an easier time of establishing them than others, but support and visibility for the collections are generally on the rise as people see the importance of making video games available for the growing number of people who want to research them. As Dave put it, "we have faculty who are doing stuff involved in video games, so the library needs to be doing something to support that teaching and that research."

Read the article here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Closings and Spring/Summer Hours

The CVGA room will be closed this Friday & Saturday, April 29-30. We will re-open on Monday May 2 and begin our regular Spring/Summer hours: Mon - Fri, Noon - 7pm; closed Sat & Sun.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Collective Effort

Do you have fond memories of working together with your friends on WoW to accomplish a great feat?

Read about a notable point in the history of WoW, when people from all over worked together, amassing an enormous list of supplies and defeating terrible enemies in a massive effort to open the Gates of Ahn'Qiraj.

See it here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Interesting Look at Female Characters in Video Games

A little while back, one of my favorite web sites for thoughtful articles and analysis about video games, The Escapist, posted a video on an interesting topic of debate: "True Female Characters". The video, part of a weekly series they do called Extra Credits, digs deep into the issue of gender and character in video games. They argue that, while it's well and good that game developers have created female characters that are non-stereotypical and/or gender-neutral (e.g. Samus Aran from Metroid, Jade from Beyond Good and Evil), they've missed out on really sinking their teeth into unexplored aspects of being a female, both genetically and societally. Motherhood and fertility rarely get dealt with in depth, and many societal traits that are considered "female" are often treated as inherent traits, leading to characters who are cardboard cutouts and/or fan service (e.g. Lara Croft, Dead or Alive's female characters). It's an interesting view, relatively short (a little over 7 minutes), and has some interesting things to say about the issue.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Remembering Gaming Console Inventor

Gerald "Jerry" Lawson, who is often thought of as the inventor of the first modern gaming console, died last weekend at age 70.

Jerry designed the mechanics of what eventually became known as the Channel F, a predecessor of the Atari game system, and invented the ability to have interchangeable cartridges in a console, which influenced several cartridge-based game consoles throughout the next couple of decades.

More about Jerry can be found here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

WolverineSoft Tech Day

Save the date!

WolverineSoft, a student group on campus that focuses on game development, is planning a Tech Day on Saturday, October 8th. The event is designed to give a broad introduction to the University of Michigan's College of Engineering by inviting high school students and college transfer students to see the Engineering campus. They will have a table to display their club and its games.

You can read more about WolverineSoft here.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


It was bound to happen: The Computer & Video Game Archive is now on Twitter. Follow us at @umcvga

What draws us to horror games?

Why do we enjoy playing scary games so much?

Nicholaus Noles, a developmental psychologist at the University of Michigan, gives us a psychological perspective into the science behind our attraction to games that inspire a sense of fear, horror or danger.

One of the reasons he gives is that they "allow us to experience powerful and complex emotions in a safe way," and that developers use situations in which gamers have limited control over a scary situation to create an effective horror-filled experience.

Read his article here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Water Game Carnival Winners

Our water game carnival has concluded, and the people receiving Amazon gift cards for their efforts are listed below.

People who completed all ten games ($20 gift card winners):
Jonathan Salais
Chad Paulinski
Kevin Dempsey

People who completed at least five games ($10 gift card winners):
Zhengxiong Zhang ("People call me John")
Seung Min Lee

Thanks to all who participated!

Top Games - Week of March 28th

Here are our top games from last week. Our water game carnival event has also now concluded, and the winners will be announced shortly:

1. Fifa Soccer 2011
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
3. Super Smash Bros. Melee
4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl
4. NBA 2K11
6. Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3)
6. Marvel vs. Capcom 3
8. FIFA World Cup 2010
8. Halo: Reach
8. Sengoku BASARA Samurai Heroes