My first kind of gaming ritual was back in those halcyon days when games still came with printed manuals. You cracked open the box, fumbled the cartridge or floppy disks out, and were greeted with a nice little (or not so little) booklet falling onto your lap.
When Apple recently announced that apps generated approximately $14billion in revenue in 2014 ($10billion of which was paid out to developers), they did not mention that the biggest single chunk of that money came from exploiting players with obvious gambling problems.
Were children any less at risk 40 years ago when they played out on the streets? At least if children are playing at home they are not wandering around town, exposed to the increasing volume (and speed) of traffic and unsavoury characters.
The "good feeling" of success is called in neuroscience "dopamine reward system", and it reinforces neural successful connections: we thus become better, smarter, and faster, at solving problems.
I'm a 40-year-old man and I'm about to play Minecraft for the first time. I'm doing it for you, for me, for all of us that have no rational idea of what it is, what it does or what it means. Is it Adolf Hitler's second, more 'downtime' book? Or some trending subterranean hobby that they're all psyched about on the QVC channel? From the look of the screen in front of me, no.
Playing 4K games on the monitor, or displaying 4K video content was superb - the quality and clarity is striking, and going back to non-4K you can really see the difference. The very low input lag is a very important feature if you are wanting this for gaming.
Gaming while on the go got gamers out of the bedroom and on the move without leaving their games behind.
Mad Catz have a new premium headset - the F.R.E.Q.9, and I managed to get my hands on the first set in the UK to play with!
The content of video games can affect how we think, especially the young people that grow up with them. Video games have the potential to be an incredibly positive influence, the Mario and Zelda franchises can get people playing in groups, the Mass Effect series has great representation and series like Total War and Age of Empires can spark interests in history.
I wanted to do a religious game that showed religion in itself could be benevolent, it's just the application and interpretation that's problematic. Yet this gets stale quickly. The usual dividing lines in this argument run similar to those of gun control in the US: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". Therefore, religion doesn't kill people, people with religion kill people. Drunk drivers don't kill people, drunk drivers who hit people and kill people, kill people... It's a facile argument that gets meaningless very quickly. The thing is, if religion really is so intoxicatingly corruptible, then it doesn't matter how great it is on paper, it's never going to have a happy ending.
Back at E3 2014, EA announced Battlefield Hardline. This time, instead of being a military shooter, it was all about cops and robbers. They then proceeded to show off some multiplayer content, and offer people the chance to play multiplayer. But at the time they were being very quiet about the single player campaign, until now.
In the game you play as 'The Inquisitor' charged with safeguarding the realms against the emerging power of evil, dragons and all. It's a simple enough story, though I'm doing injustice to the finer details, and is easy to explain thanks to a reliance on established fantasy norms and one suprisingly prominent gaming one.
Call of Duty has been a game I've dedicated a lot of time to over the past few years, it originally started in 2007 when I purchased Call of Duty 4. I've played every title since then. On Call of Duty alone I've invested over 150 days' worth of playtime.
In LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, the Caped Crusader joins forces with the super heroes of the DC Comics universe and blasts off to outer space to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth.
I was lucky enough to play the multiplayer beta for a few hours, and I have to say I loved every minute of it. I got to play three maps - Truth, Empire and a brand new map mode called Breakout, one map brings their own unique challenges.
If I am a 'Man' - let alone a HuffPost Man - why do I spend my time playing with toys for a living? Why are two of the three tabs on my browser open to Lego.com? Why do I so enjoy watching cartoons featuring comical dogs and signing up for pointless feats of strength? And why am I holding, as I write this blog, a lime-green NERF SlingFire Anti-Zombie shotgun - in the office?