• The Best Video Games of 2022
    Games News

    The Best Video Games of 2022

    Each year brings fresh, competing demands on our attention. For many companies, holding a person’s attention for the length of a film or a book is no longer sufficient. The profit imperative demands a greater sacrifice. Enter video games, which are second only to social media in their ability to assume residence in our daily routines. The business models are distinct, of course: Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram seek to engage us long enough to harvest personal information, which can be used to sell us stuff we might want. Many video games, by contrast, aim to so deeply immerse us in their worlds that we are compelled to purchase digital clothing,…

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  • Opinion | I Make Video Games. I Won’t Let My Daughters Play Them.
    Games News

    Opinion | I Make Video Games. I Won’t Let My Daughters Play Them.

    There is some debate among researchers and health care practitioners that gaming can become a true addiction, but according to the World Health Organization, “gaming disorder” can “result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.” The over-the-top experiences and rewards built into video games can stimulate our brains to release dopamine. Dopamine, the powerful “feel good” neurotransmitter, motivates us to seek more of these pleasurable activities. This is what can lead to addictive behavior. One recent study followed adolescent video-game players for six years. Most were able to enjoy playing without any harmful consequences. But a significant minority, 10 percent, developed pathological…

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  • Trombone Champ Makes a Hit Video Game of an Unlikely Instrument
    Games News

    Trombone Champ Makes a Hit Video Game of an Unlikely Instrument

    LONDON — Backstage at the Royal Festival Hall, one of London’s grandest classical music venues, James Buckle, the bass trombonist for the Philharmonia Orchestra, braced himself to do something he’d never done before: play the familiar opening of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Trombone players usually spend most of the symphony waiting in silence at the back of the orchestra, ignored by the audience, only getting the chance to play in the piece’s final, euphoric movement. But thanks to the popular new video game Trombone Champ — a sort of Guitar Hero for brass players — Buckle was having a go at its exhilarating opening as if he were one of the…

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  • Opinion | China is coming for American video games
    Games News

    Opinion | China is coming for American video games

    Fans of video games should pay heed to the fate of big Hollywood studios — which first ceded creative control to Chinese censors in pursuit of box-office gold and then found themselves floundering when China largely closed its borders to Hollywood products — as China’s government-allied businesses acquire a larger stake in the global gaming industry. It makes sense that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its business affiliates would set their sights on video games. The overall size of the gaming market dwarfs that of the global box office. The largest player in this space is Tencent, “the world’s biggest game company.” The company’s first big purchase was Riot…

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  • Playing This Divorce Video Game With My Partner Was…Interesting
    Games News

    Playing This Divorce Video Game With My Partner Was…Interesting

    Importantly, you must play It Takes Two with a second person, whether it’s someone who’s in the room with you or a friend playing online. So I was extremely appreciative when my partner, a person with a healthy relationship to entertainment media who generally avoids video games (with the notable exception of Untitled Goose Game), agreed to play with me. After borrowing a friend’s PlayStation 5, we set out to investigate whether it was, in fact, possible to make an engaging game about relationships. After finishing It Takes Two, the answer is definitively “yes”…but maybe not this one. On one hand, It Takes Two is effective in depicting and encouraging…

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  • The 17 most exciting video game releases of fall 2022
    Games News

    The 17 most exciting video game releases of fall 2022

    Despite numerous delays, the fall video game release schedule still holds plenty of promise. Highly anticipated action games are set to arrive alongside deeply engrossing visual novels; turn-based strategy games are looking to avoid a sophomore slump; gods are still trying to be good dads. With such a wide swath of genres to choose from, it’s a daunting time to keep up with video games. So, we’re here to help you sort through big-budget AAA titles, under-the-radar indies, and everything in between as we head into the last quarter of 2022. Mark your calendars and find some free time. Roadwarden Image: Moral Anxiety Studio/Assemble Entertainment An entirely text-based adventure, Roadwarden…

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