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Virtual money a reality for some Ohio State students

March 26, 2015
While Columbus seems to be gradually getting interested in Bitcoin, an Ohio State student’s Bitcoin startup has been operating out of a Silicon Valley business accelerator. Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency system developed by a secretive programmer in 2008. It’s an alternative to federally recognized currencies like the U.S. dollar. Bitcoins can be earned by solving equations with a computer, a process called mining. When a computer mines successfully, it’s rewarded with bitcoins, like when a miner finds gold. The reward is programmed to decrease at intervals until no new bitcoins are generated, so mining has become less profitable over time. Much like gold and silver, the price of a… Read more

First Glance: Super Smash Brothers for Wii U

December 8, 2014
Super Smash Brothers for Wii U is the newest version of Nintendo’s fighting game series Super Smash Brothers. It was developed by Bandai Namco Games and directed by the series creator Masahiro Sakurai. Another version was released for the Nintendo 3DS, and both are rated for ages 10 and up. Super Smash Brothers for Wii U is a fighting game for up to eight players. Unlike other fighting games, the object of Super Smash Brothers is not to deplete the opponent’s energy. Instead, you must batter the opponent until they are fatigued and can be knocked out of the fighting arena. The cast is a composite of 50 different characters… Read more

First glance: ‘Far Cry 4′ outcome depends on player’s choices

November 20, 2014
From publisher Ubisoft and developer Ubisoft Montreal comes the latest installment of the storied “Far Cry” series. “Far Cry 4” has players assuming the role of Ajay Ghale, a man born in Kyrat, which is a fictional locale based on the Himalayas and Nepal. Ajay is tasked with fulfilling his mother’s dying wish and spreading her ashes on top of the mountains that he and his mother fled when Ajay was only 3 years old. Though the main character can hardly remember anything or anyone from the country of his birth, the same can’t be said of the despotic dictator and the rebel army, who are now waging war for… Read more

First glance: ‘Sunset Overdrive’ brings gamers back to Sega era

November 11, 2014
“Sunset Overdrive” is a third-person, action/adventure game developed by Insomniac Games. Harkening back to the nostalgic days of the Sega Dreamcast era of gaming with its vivid environment, tongue-in-cheek humor and fast-paced, crisp, clean action, “Sunset Overdrive” is a standout title in this crowded fall release schedule. Taking place in the not-too-distant future of 2027, the planet’s population has been decimated after consumers drink Overcharge Delirium XT, a new energy drink developed by the ominous FizzCo corporation. The canned energy drink has an unusual way of turning everyone that consumes it into grotesque, exploding, zombie-like creatures who thirst for blood. Humanity is at the brink of extinction as you team… Read more

First glance: ‘Advanced Warfare’ a return to form for Call of Duty

November 6, 2014
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the latest first-person shooter in the Call of Duty franchise, developed by Sledgehammer Games, High Moon Studios, and with multiplayer development by Raven Software​​. It is available for PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is rated M for Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. In a departure from past Call of Duty games, which have focused on realism, Advanced Warfare speculates about what war will be like in 2054. Playable soldiers use a customizable exoskeleton, most notable for its mobility features that make the game faster and more vertically oriented in the style of sci-fi shooters.… Read more

First glance: Stylish violence of ‘Bayonetta 2′ rare territory for Nintendo

November 5, 2014
Editor’s Note: This video contains explicit language. Bayonetta 2 is the sequel to Bayonetta, both developed by Japanese studio PlatinumGames Inc. which is known for highly-stylized actions games. It was released for the Wii U and was published by Nintendo. Bayonetta 2 is rated M for Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Bayonetta, a powerful and saucy witch, hunts angels for a living along with her fellow witch Jeanne. In a mishap, Jeanne is taken to hell by a demon by mistake. Bayonetta travels through an approximation of modern Europe on her way to Hell in order to save her friend. On the way she meets a young man,… Read more

Opinion: Studies about violent video games miss the point

October 26, 2014
We are conditioned to live in fear of those who play violent video games, and new studies keep coming from Ohio State’s Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology, which agitate moral panic. Bushman’s newest study suggests playing a violent game in 3-D makes a player exhibit more aggressive behavior after playing than when they play the same game in standard 2-D. In this study, participants played a little bit of a violent game or a non-violent game and then went through a process to determine how aggressive they felt afterward. This might make sense with games like “Super Mario Bros.,” which can be understood in bite-size chunks, but… Read more

Opinion: Gamergate evolves into a misogynistic power struggle

October 17, 2014
Imagine a controversial speaker was coming to Ohio State, and a student threatened one of the worst school shootings in history if the event went on as planned. The event would be canceled, right? This actually happened at Utah State University. What do you think the talk was about? Religion? Racism? For the most part, it was about video games.  Thank Gamergate, a movement that with a threat has turned dissident gamers into terrorists. It began when a game developer, Zoe Quinn, had a relationship with games journalist Nathan Grayson. Quinn’s most famous game is a text adventure called “Depression Quest.” The community which would become Gamergate had been making… Read more

First glance: ‘Shadow of Mordor’ emulates solid combat of ‘Assassin’s Creed,’ ‘Arkham’ series

October 15, 2014
Editor’s note: This video contains explicit language and images.   “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor” is an action-adventure video game set in J.R.R Tolkien’s Middle-earth. It was developed by Monolith Productions, which also created the “F.E.A.R.” and “Condemned” video game series. It is available for PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360 PS4 and PS3. It is rated M for Mature by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. A ranger named Talion and his family are slain by soldiers of Sauron, the main antagonist in “The Lord of the Rings.” Talion is revived by an unknown force in Mordor, where men are enslaved by Sauron’s army of Uruks, an orc-like people. Talion immediately begins waging… Read more

Opinion: Oculus Rift seals rift in look of virtual reality

September 26, 2014
It’s the stuff of science fiction: strap a screen over your eyes and you’re transported to another world. Imaginative engineers have been reaching toward this phenomenon for a century now, inspired by the same ideas of futures that would have us driving floating cars and traveling through time. Unlike those dreams, however, virtual reality is now an actual reality. The Oculus Rift — a head-mounted display created specifically for virtual reality video games — was funded on Kickstarter in 2012. Its Kickstarter page promised “an incredibly wide field of view, high resolution display and ultra-low latency head tracking.” That all adds up to virtual reality that will make you forget… Read more