Category Archives: Gaming

Guinness World Record for Largest Video Game Collection is… Yours?

If you’ve ever dreamed of being an official Guinness World Record holder, now’s your chance.  Michael Thomasson has the current distinction of having the World Record for largest video game archive  but is now selling his entire collection including the actual Guinness certificate.  There are over 11,000 games in this auction, ranging from old school systems such as Atari 2600 to mainstream favorites like the SNES and the much derided Virtual Boy.

There are 21 systems for which their entire U.S. library of games are included and 14 other systems that are near complete sets.  All told, the value of this impressive archive is between $700,000 to $800,000.  Visit this link for more information on this vast collection including the complete list of all the games.

The actual auction went live on Wednesday, June 4 and will run until Sunday, June 15.  Starting bid was $1, but that did not last long and as of this post, after 12 bidders the current price is $50,000.  Good luck!

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Power Mitt Campaign Brings Nintendo’s Glove to the Kitchen

Nintendo’s ill-fated Power Glove was released in 1989 but quickly deemed too unwieldy and imprecise for actual gaming.  Through the years, it has gained notoriety most notably by appearing in the cult classic movie The Wizard and prominently featured on seemingly every top 10 list of gaming peripherals gone bad.

Now, thanks to a new campaign on Indiegogo the masses can enjoy this relic of the early Nintendo years in the kitchen with a Power Mitt oven glove.  As of this post, $5,712 of the $18,000 goal has been met with 41 days remaining.  Like Kickstarter, if the goal is not reached, refunds will be handed out and no one will get a glove… I mean mitt.  There are three levels of funding avaiable: $39 for one glove, $69 for two gloves, or a spectacular $10,000 for a one of a kind gold-plated version that is not functional but will look impressive in a display case, I guess.  Stretch goals include leftie versions plus larger sizes.

mitt1

mitt2

Here’s hoping this is more successful than the original.  If nothing else, the infomercial-styled promo video is pretty rad.

After seeing that, this is all I have to say:

fry

New Titanfall Season Pass Information

With the release of Titanfall just a week away, new information has surfaced from Respawn Entertainment about planned DLC for the game and the corresponding Season Pass.  A grand total of three content packs will be released sometime after the game ships.  Each can be bough individually when they come out or you can buy all three in advance with the Season Pass for $24.99, which represents a $5 savings.  This applies to all three versions of the game, XBox One, PC, and XBox 360.

For those playing on PC, a Digital Deluxe addition is now available for $79.99, which represents an additional $5 savings as opposed to buying the game and Season Pass separately.  As per the official Titanfall site, the content packs will all have new maps but any other features are to be determined.

The quality of DLC has always fluctuated as seen in recent games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield 4.  There have been really great add-ons in Borderlands 2 and then some complete duds also.  So the risk with buying a Season Pass before all the content is released is that you might be spending money on ones that are not worth it or aren’t significant enough to justify the cost.  With no knowledge of what else might be released besides more maps, it is probably safer to wait for each Titanfall DLC to come out before committing to shelling out money.

Regardless, head here for more info straight from the source.

Tetris Shown to Curb Food, Alcohol, and Cigarette Cravings

A study performed at Plymouth University has shown that playing Tetris for just three minutes can reduce cravings for food, alcohol, and cigarettes.  The game basically distracts the brain from images of the aforementioned substances by shifting focus to the almost 30-year old game.  The lead professor stated that cravings usually last a couple of minutes and during this time, the individual is picturing the item they want and how good they will feel if they receive it.  Thus, even a quick game of Tetris can help eliminate episodes of cravings.

The study instructed participants to rate their cravings in strength, vividness, and intrusiveness.  Half of the individuals played the game for three minutes and the other half waited for the game to load for three minutes.  The group that actually played the game reported 24% less cravings than the group that didn’t get to play.

Now before you go and dust off your copy of Tetris for the NES, it should be noted that probably any kind of three minute distraction when a craving sets in will likely reproduce similar results as the study.  Playing Tetris itself is not inherently a craving buster, so replace the game with your favorite three minute activity and voila!

Titanfall Beta Now Open to All

Looks like the Titanfall beta will now be opened to everyone on the XBox One, with the PC version following suit shortly, per a Tweet from Respawn Entertainemnt co-founder Vince Zampella.

It will be interesting to see how Respawn’s servers respond to the influx of players.  As of last night on the PC (which is still in closed beta), I was once again receiving connection error messages and disconnects.  It wasn’t as frequent as Saturday but nonetheless was frequent enough to be annoying and disruptive.  It’s good to see them stress their servers at close to max capacity with the change so I expect these issues to be ironed out by Titanfall‘s release on March 11th,

‘Titanfall’ Closed Beta Registration Ends 2/14

The deadline for a chance to access the closed beta of Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall on XBox One and PC is fast approaching.  Registration ends on Friday, 2/14 at 4 pm PST.  Founded by the guys responsible for Infanity Ward’s Call of Duty titles, this will be Respawn Entertainment’s first game and will compete for market share with established shooters such as the aforementioned CoD and EA’s Battlefield series.  Head here to sign-up before it ends.

Slated for a March 11th release, Titanfall is a 6v6 first person shooter with the added element of giant robots (titans) that each player can jump in and pilot.  The beta will include 2 maps (Angel City and Fracture) and 3 game modes.  Attrition is Titanfall‘s version of team deathmatch but with AI controlled cannon fodder running around.  Hardpoint Domination is basically Battlefield‘s Conquest mode where teams fight to maintain three capture points.  Finally, Last Titan Standing starts all players in a titan and only one life.  Check out the following  videos that were recently released for more info.

Beta codes will be emailed to a select number of people beginning tonight and until February 17th.  I’ll be furiously hitting the ‘F5’ key through the weekend…

2 “New” Retro Consoles Launching in Q1 2014

Two retro consoles are scheduled for release in the coming months for those of us that have held on dearly to our old-school games.  Now instead of re-buying virtual console games on the Wii and Wii U, you can dust off those original NES, SNES, and Sega cartridges stored in the attic from yesteryear.

Super Retro Trio by Retro-bit
Super Retro Trio by Retro-bit

The first is Retro-bit’s Super Retro Trio launching in mid-to-late March, which will allow users to play Sega Genesis, Nintendo Entertainment System, and Super Nintendo Entertainment System games for $69.99.  It will come with 6 controller ports for use with the original controllers from the aforementioned systems, 2 corded physical gamepads modeled after the SNES pad, and an S-video/AV cable.  Unfortunately no HDMI option is available on this model, but if up-scaling to 720p is of utmost importance, then the next console will suit your needs.

RetroN 5 by Hyperkin
RetroN 5 by Hyperkin

Hyperkin’s $99.99 RetroN 5 is compatible with Famicon, Super Famicon, Megadrive, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance in addition to the three systems the Super Retro Trio supports (NES, SNES, and Genesis).  It also allows for the use of original controllers through its 6 controller ports, but the system does come with a Bluetooth wireless gamepad and can have 4 of them connected at once.  Lastly, it has an HDMI port for easy connectivity to modern LCDs and plasmas for the enjoyment of old-school games in modern day 720p.  The RetroN 5 will be released by the end of March.

Both systems offer a great way to revisit old classics without the hassle of hooking up multiple systems.  It will also be convenient for those whose old consoles have died but still have the original game cartridges with no way to play them.  Looks like its time to fire up some Earthbound in glorious HD!

TED Talk: Your Brain on Video Games

Dr. Daphne Bavelier is a cognitive researcher who gave an informative and surprising TED talk about how video games can positively affect the brain.  From sensational news stories equating video games to violent behavior, to parents chastising their kids for playing games, it is refreshing to know that this hobby I hold dear can produce cognitive benefits according to recent scientific studies.

The central type of game she focuses on during her talk are what she calls “action games” or FPS (first person shooter) games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.  Highlights include debunking the myth that increased screen time makes your eyesight worse.  People that play action games actually scored better than non-gamers in two distinct categories: ability to resolve small detail in the context of clutter and ability to resolve different levels of gray.  Dr. Bavelier states that the former is utilized when reading fine print on a prescription bottle while the latter is helpful when driving in fog.

Another interesting finding is that gamers have a better ability to track things around the world.  A typical normal young adult can have up to three to four objects of attention while gamers double that to six or seven objects of attention.  This makes sense as fast paced games task the player with continuous monitoring of their surroundings, whether it is checking for nearby threats or keeping an eye on the mini-map and their health.

brain

Using brain imaging, it has been discovered that video games cause positive changes to areas of the brain that control attention such as the parietal cortex (orientation of attention), frontal lobe (sustaining attention), and anterior cingulate (allocation/regulation of attention and conflict resolution).  Imaging has shown that these areas are more efficient in gamers.

I highly recommend watching her entire 18 minute presentation at the top of this post.  Dr. Bavelier isn’t telling people to play 10 hours of ‘Call of Duty’ daily, as moderation is still a key component.  In addition, she advocates for the creation of games that are geared specifically towards training and rehabbing the brain while still being fun.  Until then, I’ll continue  to play Battlefield and call it my “brain workout”, knowing it might be slightly less of a waste of time!

2 More Rare NES Carts on eBay (Gray and GOLD!)

Considering the record amount a gray Nintendo World Championships cart auction ended for last week on eBay, it’s no surprise that other owners of the coveted cartridge would try to capitalize on it.  There are now concurrent eBay auctions for a gray and even rarer gold version (only 26 of the 116 made) of the game.

nes_rare_2
Image from actual listing

First up, is *yawn* the gray version, currently at 27 bids with 5 days to go and a price of $11,000.  This one has the original label still on as opposed to the one from last week.

nes_rare_gold
Image from actual listing

Next is the ultra-rare gold cart, currently at $90,100 with 67 bids and 7 days left.  The issue with the cart that ended with a high bid of almost $100,000 last week is that the top bidder recently backed out stating that “their 2 year old placed the bid without their knowledge”.  So there can be some artificial inflation of bids going on with all these auctions.  It’ll be interesting to see how much these two listings can grow to with almost a week left to go and if any will sell to legitimate bidders.