Category:  Gaming culture

By Mercer Smith-Looper, July 7, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

The International eSports Federation revisited and changed their decision to limit the upcoming Hearthstone tournament to only male players and will now be allowing women to partake as well.

The IeSF originally claimed that this choice was made to help legitimize eSports in the realm of traditional sporting events that have men’s and women’s leagues. Not only did this spur uproar from gamers, but also resulted in a message from Blizzard itself.

The company responded with the following statement:

“To all our fans and eSport enthusiasts, in the last hours we have received lots of feedback from you regarding the IeSF 6th e-Sports World Championship, particularly regarding the male/female tournament division. We want to thank you for your interest in eSports and for sharing your opinions. The eSports community opinion is always important to the IeSF. Our top priority is to promote eSports in the best ways we can. We believe that listening is important, and we’re now collecting your opinions from the social media, and we will update soon.”

Events that are strictly female will still be held, under the belief from the IeSF that this will help acclimate them to competitive eSporting events. All other events moving forward, however, will be made “Open for All.”

In keeping with this idea of equality, the IeSF has opened up an additional Tekken Tag Tournament 2 event, which had originally been slated to be a female-only event.

Source: IeSF

By Mercer Smith-Looper, June 30, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

An orchestral concert tour celebrating the iconic music of the Pokémon series could soon be making its way to a city near you, as the Pokémon Company and Princeton Entertainment announced the first two stops of Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions.

The show, which will feature orchestral arrangements from all of the canonical Pokémon games from Red, Blue and Yellow for the Game Boy Color to X and Y for the 3DS, will debut at the Warner Theater in Washington D.C. on Aug. 15.

Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions is going to be a spectacular showcase of the memorable music that has been a hallmark of the Pokémon franchise for nearly 20 years,” J.C. Smith, the director of Consumer Marketing for the Pokémon Company said. “The concert series serves as a thank-you to fans and an invitation to share our passion for Pokémon by reliving some of our fondest memories. We’re looking forward to seeing fans of all ages meeting up and enjoying this very special Pokémon orchestral event together.”

During the same weekend the show is slated to kick off, the 2014 Pokémon World Championship will also be taking place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

For those not in the immediate Washington D.C. area, a followup performance will be held at Philadelphia’s Mann Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 19.

Additional dates for performances are not yet announced but will be kept up to date on the event’s website.

By Andrew Martins, June 23, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

Two weeks ago, Kojima Productions and Konami “officially” unveiled the trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain during the Sony press conference. In it were images of a severely distraught Big Boss dealing with the aftermath of Ground Zeroes and what’s being described as his hunt for brutal vengeance.

While the five minute video has been effective in setting most fans of the series aflame with speculation, it’s also helped skyrocket the popularity of Mike Oldfield, the man behind the song featured in the trailer, “Nuclear.”

According to the Metal Gear Solid subreddit, the track jumped to the top of the “U.S. Viral Chart” last week after having never previously been on the list. Keep in mind, the album it was featured on, “Man on the Rocks,” was released more than two months ago.

In addition, the song has also seen a boost in popularity on Amazon.

It’s also worth mentioning that the number two song on that list, “The Bomb” by Pigeon John, was featured in the Dead Island 2 trailer.

It’s pretty interesting to see just how far reaching the videogame culture can be. It’s one thing to see the craziness of E3 and know how it’s affecting the industry, but it’s another thing entirely to imagine that a trailer for MGS V has enough sway to push a relatively obscure track to prominence – albeit briefly.

If you still haven’t seen the MGS V: The Phantom Pain trailer from this year’s E3, you can watch it after the break. Let me just warn you that it gets pretty gnarly, which as we’re all aware, is nothing new for recent games in the series.


By Mercer Smith-Looper, June 23, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

Robert Morris University in Illinois is the first college to officially make eSports, specifically League of Legends, part of the school’s athletic department and offer scholarships based on in-game excellence.

While Riot already offers $100,000 in scholarships to competing students, RMU will also be offering its own: a scholarship worth 50 percent of room and board, as well as tuition for students competing on the Varsity League of Legends team.

The team will be competing in the Collegiate StarLeague, an organization of 102 institutions such as Harvard, specifically in League of Legends, though other popular to titles like DotA 2 are also played.

Though countries like South Korea have made eSports a serious business, complete with arenas dedicated to tournaments, the USA has yet to jump on the bandwagon. However, with recent news of Call of Duty: Ghosts being added to the X-Games and League of Legends being added to college curriculums we may not be so far behind after all.

Source: Forbes

By Mercer Smith-Looper, June 15, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

Sony is joining forces with producer Neal Mortiz of 22 Jump Street and Marza Animation Planet to make a Sonic the Hedgehog movie featuring both CGI and live action footage.

While not much of the plot has been released aside from its inclusion of Sonic’s best known enemy Doctor Eggman, much of the production team has already been announced.

Evan Susser and Van Robichaux will be writing the screenplay and Takeshi Ito and Mie Onishi will be producing, along with Toby Ascher as an executive producer. Quite the cast and crew, which is merited for a game that has sold more than 140 million copies. It will be interesting to see how the studio successfully mashes twenty years of Sonic‘s existence into what will presumably a less-than-two-hour film.

The only other Sonic film that has come out was a straight-to-video US version of two back-to-back episodes of Japanese anime that released in 1999.

This is exciting news for a Sega hero who has since been seeing less and less playtime over the years, as well as for all the fans who love him.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

By Patrick Kulikowski, May 28, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

If you ever wanted to write out obscenities using the iconic, classic game fonts of the 80s and 90s arcade scene, then Arcade Font Writer is for you.

Developed by HTML5 game developer Richard Davey, the font generator lets you pick from a multitude of arcade font styles, including ones from classic Sega, Konami and Capcom franchises like Afterburner, Gradius and Street Fighter II. Once you have it tailored to your needs, you can save the image as a .PNG image file for spamming on your favorite social media website.

It’s also the perfect tool for shameless self-promotion, as evidenced by this post’s header image. Post away in the comments with your own arcade font text concoctions. If you make us laugh, we may give you a freebie of some sort. Who knows?

By Mercer Smith-Looper, May 12, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

Back during the good ol’ days of Pokémon, there were only 151 creatures to capture and pine over, from Bulbasaur to Mew.

In an effort to catalog and celebrate those original pocket monsters, one tumblr user by the name of BonnyJohn recently completed a massive undertaking of artistic skill by drawing one pokemon a day for 151 days straight.

While some of the pokémon were drawn in a traditional style, like this Scyther, many more received a more unique, avant-garde approach. From somewhat creepy, to adorable, to almost unrecognizable, the sheer range of each illustration is staggering.

Though the challenge is over, BonnyJohn said they’re not finished with the project just yet. In the coming weeks, the Poké-artist will be working on and releasing a video detailing all the research and speed painting that went into each creation.

You can check out a gallery of some highlights after the break.


By Patrick Kulikowski, May 12, 2014 0 Gaming culture, News

Boston-based Square Enix folk game music cover band The World is Square has released a new album on Bandcamp to whet the appetite of many VGM lovers craving the spice of Nobuo Uematsu and other legendary game composers.

Entitled “Stay Awhile and Listen” (yes, a Diablo II reference), the album features 14 tracks from a myriad of Square Enix-related titles, including Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy VI, Super Mario RPG and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.

Like the group’s 2012 debut album “No Phoenix Down Can Save You Now,” this new release contains folky renditions of game tunes utilizing an unorthodox combination of instruments that range from a classical guitar, melodica, glockenspiel and mandolin.

“Stay Awhile and Listen” will run you 10 gil on Bandcamp, physical or digital. The five-piece is also slated to play a couple of live shows in Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania.

As a little bonus, we’ve got a few digital codes of their debut album to give out to anyone who comments on this post. No grinding necessary.

By Patrick Kulikowski, May 10, 2014 1 Gaming culture, News

If you think there are too many metal covers of Mega Man 2’s “Wily 1″ and not enough melodica and triangle covers of Mega Man 3’s “Needle Man,” then you should probably let game composer Jake Kaufman know.

The composer of Double Dragon Neon, Mighty Switch Force!, DuckTales Remastered and a billion more has revealed a new YouTube series to potentially satiate that thirst for more unique videogame music mashups.

Entitled “Fusion Challenge,” Kaufman sees this as a chance for fans to request videogame tunes done in a style of their choosing, and he will subsequently create a remix reflecting the winning concept. His plan is to do this biweekly, unless his career gets in the way.

All these ideas are suddenly formulating in my head now. Breath of Fire II djent-style. Metroid polka. Soul Blazer swing music. Contra with sitars. Let’s make it happen.

Check out Kaufman’s overly humorous video introducing the concept in addition to his first project, “Might as Well Object,” a Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and 80s synth rock mashup, after the break.

Keep in mind that he has already selected his first fan suggestion from the YouTube comments, noting that the mashup idea “made me laugh until I cried.”


By Mercer Smith-Looper, April 29, 2014 1 Gaming culture, News

Yesterday, ESPN’s Ryan Garfat confirmed that Call of Duty: Ghosts will be an official event at this year’s summer X Games.

ESPN and Major League Gaming have partnered to add the tournament as a means to tap into the abundance of individuals competitively involved in professional gaming. It is set to occur in Austin at the summer X Games scheduled for August.

Sundance Giovanni, CEO of MLG, spoke up about this decision and noted this as the first time MLG had strong enough league structure and support to bring “high-level production into a really full weekend” at the X Games. Giovanni also mentioned hoping to make the new tournament a “tradition at both the summer and the winter X Games over time.”

A statement from Ryan Garfat on the tournament, and how it will be structured:

“The ‘MLG Call of Duty: Ghosts‘ tournament will feature the top five ‘Call of Duty‘ teams based on MLG Pro Points plus the top three teams from the ‘Call of Duty‘ championship held in Winter Park, Fla., last month. The eight teams will compete in a double-elimination group format, with four teams advancing to a single-elimination bracket. X Games medals will be awarded to the winning teams.”

According to the official statement on the ESPN site, the partnership between MLG and ESPN’s X Games runs deep and they intend to use this first opportunity as a way to gauge interest and potentially “mak[e] on-site gaming a regular attraction at X Games.”

Source: ESPN