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  • Thais 10:24 am on September 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bento, food, gomba, half live, , , , , pikachu, ,   

    Crafturday – Video Games Bento 

    bento by Anna the Red

    I believe most of you have already heard or seen something on this bento boxes trend. If not, let Wikipedia explain to us:

    Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento are readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops, train stations, and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend time and energy for their spouse, child, or themselves producing a carefully prepared lunch box.

    So, basically, a bento is a single-portion lunch, generally packed with love. For some time now, this Japanese tradition is making its way in western countries, in a way it’s almost becoming common. Here are some great examples of video game inspired bentos. For more pictures or instructions, please visit creator’s site that is linked below every picture. (More …)

    • scarletsculturegarden 10:48 am on September 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Aww I love the Link Bento, it really looks like the cel-shading version of him. The one with Boo is great too. I imagine if someone gave me one I’d think it was too nice to eat though!

      • Thais 4:32 pm on September 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        That’s a problem I have too sometimes… I wait and wait, since it looks so good, but some times, food spoils before I eat it… :~

    • Omar 6:12 am on September 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      these bags would go well with the bento lunches


    • JRGBruno 3:42 am on September 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      OK it’s 2:30AM and I have the munchies. These look so fucking good right now.

  • Thais 7:59 am on September 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , retrospective,   

    Mario’s 25th Anniversary 

    Most of you must have heard, but some might haven’t. This week, Super Mario Bros. game complete its 25th anniversary of release. Therefore, its main characters, such as Mario and Peach, are now 25 years old now. I’m not very found of posting such commercial media here, but what the heck, it’s a special date! Ladys and gentlemen, Mario’s retrospective!

    As a bonus, a little review of one of my favorite reviewers on Super Mario Bros. 3. Don’t take Jame so serious though.

  • Thais 8:21 am on September 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , game as art, Heppe, , Metroid other M,   

    Maybe games are not art after all 

    photo by IGN

    Boing boing has bring up a interesting point: though many academics and some devs bust their ass out trying to prove otherwise, perhaps most gamers think of video games not as a art. Beschizza, one of Boing Boing writers, observed that throw a interesting discussion on G4. It all begun with Abbie Heppe review on Metroid other M, in which the critic focused not in the gameplay [though see also address it], but on Samus Aron, Metroid main character. Heppe mainly criticized the character construction,  since in all previous games Samus was a though hard core bounty hunter, whereas in other M, she is shown insecure and childish.

    This outlook on Metroid shows that Heppe believe that games are more then just “enjoyment apparatus”, that they also tell you an history and that its values and characters are important to the hole game experience. But a reasonable portion of Heppe’s readers don’t seem to agree with that since, as Beschizza put it,

    Though she also covered gameplay issues in her review, responses from G4’s readers were often negative. Of the hundreds of comments published, many attacked the author directly. Amid the predictable misogyny and hostility, a pattern emerges: it’s just a game. Some even claimed that it was unprofessional to talk about such matters in a game review.

    Also, but that unfortunately wasn’t noticed by Beschizza, Heppe’s review made its way to the G4 forums, where the main focus changed to sexualizing Samus, but the more than one hundred replies to it make a interesting point. Almost half replies corroborate Beschizza outlook, that the “cinematics” aspects shouldn’t be taken so serious: it’s a game, it doesn’t matter if Samus is nude or wears a mail armour or if she is a though marine or a childish young woman. But the other half was more interested in discussing the narrative aspects of Metroid other M. Even those who didn’t agree with Heppe’s arguments made their points based on Metroid history.

    So, could the different kinds of audience have such completely different points of views of video games?

  • Thais 12:08 pm on September 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: addaddiction, , , , personality traits, ,   

    Additivity and Violence in Video Games 

    photo by Daniel Conway

    Recently, we’ve talked about that lawsuit against Lineage developer and discussed about how players spend their time on MMOs. A big amount of them seems to use MMO as a new tool for trouble-solving engaging and socializing, which indicates that MMOs are just another cultural/social/playing activity and not a highly addictive thing such as crack. Well, even though, some people [as the Hawaiian guy behind this lawsuit] do get really hooked up in MMOs, so why this happens?

    To talk about this, I think another main discussion on media about games must be raised: violence in games. Much have been said about it, many links between them were proposed, but actually nothing conclusive was found. Many of those researches have many faults, but the main one, as Yee pointed out, “[i]n spite of the fact that the average age of computer and video game players is 30 (Entertainment Software Association, 2005), the articles […] seem to perpetuate the assumption that mainly children and adolescents play video games”, focusing their studies on them.

    Particularly, it seems to me that Markeys’s approach is the most accurate one. According to the authors, violent responses are aroused by video games only in people with predisposition to violence in the first place. Therefore, a violent video games can trigger a violent action, but only if the person already have some predisposition to violence. Patrick and Chalotte Markey link this predisposition to personality traits in a really interesting way.

    So, if violent responses to violent video games are mainly triggered by personality traits, couldn’t addition to any kind of video games be also triggered by some sort of compulsion predisposition?

    • JRGBruno 9:06 pm on September 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I think you are absolutely right. Some people are more predisposed than others to engage in destructive behavior. And since this type of behavior may be triggered by a wide range of factors, the best thing for them is often is to remain vigilant of those triggers and learning how to cope with them if they arise.

      After all, if you spent all your time trying to avoid these potential triggers altogether, it would be pretty difficult to lead a relatively normal life. For instance, you mentioned people who are prone to violence. Those people who tend to get more aggressive when playing a videogame are also likely to get aggressive when playing sports. They might fight with referees often and have difficulty getting along with fellow teammates.

      Does that mean they should avoid sports altogether? Not really. Does it mean they should stay away from certain sports or certain disciplines within a given sport? Maybe, maybe not. But does it mean the sport in question should be discouraged among the general public? Absolutely not. The same with videogames.

      As for the MMO addict….if that guy is sincere, then he has some very serious psychological problems. In that case, he shouldn’t be blaming the game, he should be THANKING it for exposing a very serious condition that needs to be dealt with ASAP. How else could you become so dependent on something that doesn’t give your brain pleasure in any direct way? The pleasure of playing an MMO is strictly a subjective one–if getting to a Level 30 gives you pleasure, it is only because you convinced yourself that getting to that level is a ‘good thing.’ There is nothing intrinsically valuable about reaching that level, it just means you achieved something in a particular game, and no game has ever claimed otherwise. In other words, it’s up to players to decide how important an in-game achievement is to them. If becoming the best WoW player ever is important to you, it’s only because you determined that such a distinction was important. If it becomes the most important thing in your life…well, then it’s time to see a psychiatrist.

      That being said, I’m not very fond of most MMORPGs because of their reliance on an endless string of superficial in-game achievements. In that sense, one could certainly accuse them of using drug dealer techniques, since the point of most of those games is always to always get stronger and acquire more and more stuff by constantly playing. There’s no end point to them, no reason for playing except to get to the next milestone. I think that’s a problem, and it should be criticized. But it’s a completely different thing to suggest that the game actually gets you hooked. Most players recognize after a while that the endless search for more stuff is meaningless and empty. I don’t think it’s the developer’s responsibility to warn you about that emptiness…though failing to see it for what it is should definitely be considered a problem for the poor soul involved in the lawsuit.

    • Banjora 6:35 am on March 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

      • Thais 2:38 pm on March 2, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Banjora! We all appreciate it a lot!

  • Thais 10:23 am on September 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: addiction, license agreement, , ,   

    Lineage lawsuit, License wars and MMO Addiction 

    It’s not unusual to hear about players suing software companies because of some kind of “collateral effect” of their games.  But, generally, those cases end up when the software license agreement is taken in consideration. That’s why I didn’t play any attention at all to that Hawaiian guy suing NCSoft for making Lineage ][ so “addictive” . But now this man  has scored a win against NCSoft in a really rare situation.

    His first claims were, according to freedom to tinker: (1) misrepresentation/deceit, (2) unfair and deceptive trace practices, (3) defamation/libel/slander, (4) negligence, (5) gross negligence, (6) intentional infliction of emotional distress, (7) negligent infliction of emotional distress and (8) punitive damages. Again, according to  freedom to tinker,

    The U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii ruled that the plaintiff’s gross negligence claims could proceed against the software company and that the contractual limitation of liability did not foreclose a potential recovery of punitive damages based on such claims. Furthermore, the matter remains in federal court in Hawaii notwithstanding a forum selection clause (section 15 of the User Agreement) in which the user apparently agreed “that any action or proceeding instituted under this Agreement shall be brought only in State courts of Travis County, State of Texas.”

    Not only this resolution will put in debate how companies do their license agreements and, probably, leading to a stiffening of the current license agreements, but also make us wonder about the frontiers between addictiveness and self-control. Putting in other words, how far can we control our urge to play?

    MMO researcher Nick Yee conducted a survey in which data from 30,000 users of MMORPGs were collected. According to his  research, “the appeal [for playing MMORPGs] is strong (on average 22 hours of usage per week) across users of all ages”. That’s pretty much a half day job per week, which is a lot of time, but I think I don’t need to remind you that the average time Americans spent time on TV is about 35 hours per week.

    Another interesting thing on Yee’s research is that 15.8% of male players and 59.8% of female players played with a romantic partner, while 25.5% of male players and 39.5% of female players participated with a family member. Those percentages ans statistics prove nothing by themselves, but one can infer that the average MMORPG player plays a reasonable amount of time, but far less from the addicted level, otherwise the average American would be more-than addicted to television. Also, it’s evident that almost half of those players don’t penetrate in those world to completely forget the real world since they play with family  members/romantic partners.

    So, if those games are really addictive, how come such expressive amount of players are not addicted to the point to divert from reality as our friend from Hawaii? [Continues]

  • Thais 4:32 pm on August 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bento smile, , guns, , weapons   

    Guns and Devs 

    photo by Kotaku.

    Kotaku pointed out an interesting question. Guns are common ground in most video games. But what about the developers behind those games, do they really have any kind of real world experience with weapons?

    Of course, experience with actual firearms have impacted the work of some game designers, and haven’t impact the work of others. Some designers have a great interest in weapons, while others are only interested in how they impact game design. Opinions vary person by person.

    This kind of reminds me of an older discussion about games and violence; why is so common violence in games and so on. I have no answers for that [actually, I’m not even sure if there is so much violence at all, but…], but I’d like to add someone else’s questionings. The Life Of A Pacifist Is Often Fraught With Conflict is a Bento Smile’s game in which the player is presented with how violence may me a little more present in modern games that it have ever been.

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