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Video Games

31 articles
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Every Thought, Every Motion

An Antarctic data hack.

"Still inside the joy, he moved quickly and quietly through the cold, barren corridor, past a row of humming, refrigerated steel doors labeled 'BSL-4 Biohazard,' into the sterile, white labs. Four five-thousand-liter liquid nitrogen tanks were lined up against the wall, the tubes that fed them thick with insulation against the extreme chill of the coolant. The third vat was open and breathing ice crystals into the air. He was glad he had loaded out with a virus filter in the mask. The power was still on, so the tank might freeze again. He pushed the lid shut, holding his breath just in case."

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This Isn't Really About Fishing

A lonely man creates a female avatar in a video game.

"Frank took Sophia’s hand. This was not an agreed upon action so much as he *took hold of her hand.* Rob was unsure how to analyze this action. Girls had taken his hand before, after drinks at the bar or during movies, and the entire time Rob was uncomfortable. He had sweaty hands and spent the whole experience worrying about his date’s perception of this moisture. He always thought about letting go, but felt that it was his duty, as the girls seemed to, to hold their hands on these occasions and that to let go would be a greater violation than his sweat. Sophia’s hands were not sweaty, as pixels could not sweat. Her hands were not something embarrassing. They had no hair and if looked at closely, the nails would be carefully manicured. But what were her obligations to hold hands with Frank? She was not his girlfriend. They had just met and Frank, the king, was touching Sophia’s hand as if it was his own hand."

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Lucky and Wild

After a breakup, a man begins to transform his apartment into a retro arcade.

"I ask him what he plans to do with the games. Is he going to start an arcade? Is he going to fix them and sell them? Matt shrugs and tells me it’s just a hobby now. It’s good that you’ve distracted yourself from Sarah, I tell him, and he says yeah, he’s enjoying his abdication—abdication, as if he’s resigning from the presidency or something. He says it makes him feel like a kid again and I nod. Video games will do that. Nostalgia. But Matt shakes his head, like I’m not understanding him."

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Modern Warfare

The bizarre battle over the Call of Duty video game franchise.

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End Game

How Curt Schilling’s video-game company went bust.

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Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Shooter

Why people play violent video games.

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Tetris: Can a Cold War Classic Evolve for the Touchscreen?

The game’s past, present, and future.

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The Most Dangerous Gamer

Jonathan Blow is both the video game industry’s most cynical critic and its most ambitious game developer. As he finishes his indescribable game-opus, a trip inside the head of a videogame auteur.

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Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto

The beginnings of the best-selling video game, from a chapter of David Kushner’s new book on the subject.

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'Bizarro World'

In which the author’s wife attempts to break the world record in Tetris.

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Burning Man

On a U.S. soldier burned to the verge of death and the virtual-reality video game doctors used as treatment when he came home.

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The Quest for the Golden Nintendo Game

On video game collectors’ “holy grail” – a Nintendo World Championships cartridge:

Wired.com tracked down some of the Nintendo World Championships participants and serious videogame collectors whose lives have touched by these coveted artifacts of a bygone 8-bit era. Here are their stories.

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Where Do Dwarf-Eating Carp Come From?

A profile of Tarn and Zach Adams, creators of the computer game Dwarf Fortress:

Dwarf Fortress may not look real, but once you’re hooked, it feels vast, enveloping, alive. To control your world, you toggle between multiple menus of text commands; seemingly simple acts like planting crops and forging weapons require involved choices about soil and season and smelting and ores. A micromanager’s dream, the game gleefully blurs the distinction between painstaking labor and creative thrill.

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Beyond Angry Birds

On the shift from the “triple-A video-game production cycle — the expensive development process, in other words, by which games like HaloGrand Theft AutoUncharted, and BioShock are unleashed upon the world” towards the simpler pleasures of gaming on the iPad.

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Learn to Let Go

Duke Nukem 3D made its creators filthy rich. Trying to complete its sequel nearly destroyed them.
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Press X for Beer Bottle

On LA Noire and the gaming paradoxes presented by pairing nuanced storytelling with a player’s free will.

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On the Floor Laughing

A field trip to the video gamey world of the modern trader.

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Gizmondo's Spectacular Crack-Up

One of the most valuable cars in the world crashes going 200 mph on the Pacific Coast Highway. Its owner claims to be an anti-terrorism officer. In fact, he’s a former executive at a failed software company—and a career criminal. The unraveling of an epic con.

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How Rovio made Angry Birds a Winner

Inside the most ubiquitous distraction of its era.

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Forging the Oregon Trail

Forty years ago, a trio of student teachers created the most popular educational game of all-time.

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Wake Up, Geek Culture, Time To Die

On how 21st century culture shifts killed the nerd and what lies ahead.

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Master of Play

A profile of video game artist Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind Super Mario Bros.

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Creating his 'Living World in a Box'

How the mind behind Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto plans to push gaming further.

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Learning By Playing

A new strain of educational thought (and practice) involves embracing the technology of the moment - which means bringing video games into the classroom.

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War Games

Movies about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have failed to connect with viewers, but video games on the topic have broken sales records.

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Spacewar

A game called Spacewar is developed by early computer engineers in their spare time, improved in University comp-sci labs, and ultimately made available in coffeeshops for ten cents per game.

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The Franchise

How Madden NFL went from a programmer’s childhood dream to a $3 billion business.

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The Programmer Saving Our Souls

Are video games capable of emotion?

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Video games: the addiction

Tom Bissell was an acclaimed young writer when he started playing Grand Theft Auto. For the last three years he has been sleep deprived, cocaine fueled, and barely able to write a word—and he has no regrets.