Two high school students have created a computer game that’s probably safe to say no game developer has ever bet money on before. There are no zombies, no AK-47s, no strippers. Instead, Tampon Run is a simple concept: Collect tampons, shoot them at your enemies, and don’t run out of them before your moon cycle is over.
“At its core, it’s a story about the nature of competition and market leadership—how business leaders can achieve it, and how it can be snatched away.”
A 40-year tradition of fantasy gaming wants to claim back its throne.
Starting in 2015, the NYU Game Center, a department within the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts, has just announced they’ll be offering bachelor of fine arts degrees in video game design.
The video game blockbuster proves that if you give users the tools, they’ll build worlds for girl gamers. So why won’t Disney?
Depending on whom you talk to, this game is either the the greatest thing to happen to smartphones since the selfie or the gaming equivalent to mind rabies.
Photo: Pac-Man Graffiti.
How researchers are using computer games to treat pain, aging, ADHD, and other ailments.
Feeling anxious, depressed, fearful, or unable to focus? Is your memory getting fuzzy? Medication might help. Therapy might help. And someday soon—according to neuroscientists, game designers, and drug makers—you might be prescribed a videogame that helps as much as (or more than) either. Here are a few of the innovative companies that are fusing game mechanics with principles of cognitive psychology to create a new paradigm for digital healing.
With the launch of a new version of the venerable role-playing game, D&D is on a quest to dominate your leisure time with digital weapons.
A party of adventurers sneak their way through Cragmaw Cave to surprise a clutch of goblins and their pet wolves.
As the bloody battle wages on, bodies fall one by one. The Dwarven priest and the vicious leader Klarg are all that remain standing. The duel rages on and only one can emerge victorious. A player tosses his dice eagerly to see if he can roll that critical hit and win the day.
This could be a scene from 1970s or the 1990s or today, from the first version of Dungeons and Dragons, to the second edition or third or fourth. But this scene unfolds in the latest D&D release and it comes with one big, modern difference: the players themselves had a hand in shaping the rules. It is all part of D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast’s embrace of the online world and digital lives of those who play this iconic paper-and-pen-based game.
"The rules provide the engine for great adventures and our focus shifts squarely to creating the best stories for players to share and enjoy in their preferred format," says Nathan Stewart, brand director for Dungeons and Dragons.
The latest version, simply titled Dungeons and Dragons, debuted last week with the release of the “Starter Set,” a box that comes with a 32-page primer on the new rules, a 64-page adventure, five characters for players to use on said adventure, and a set of dice to actually play the game with. It is a preview of the new game, before the full rulebooks are released later this year: the Player’s Handbook in August, theMonster Manual in September, and the Dungeon Master’s Guidetwo months later. Getting to this point was, as any avid D&D player might guess, an epic undertaking.
An increasing number of non-gaming firms are using the popular video gaming expo to source creative and technical talent.
A curious site greeted attendees at last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3): a slightly charred SpaceX Dragon capsule next to a tent outside the Los Angeles Convention Center, with company staff giving away free “Occupy Mars” T-shirts. What’s a real-life space firm doing at a convention dedicated to simulation?
“We’re recruiting!” explained one of employees.
“We actually hire a lot of our best software engineers out of the gaming industry,” said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, when Fast Company posed this question during the May 29 Dragon V2 unveiling. “In gaming there’s a lot of smart engineering talent doing really complex things. [Compared to] a lot of the algorithms involved in massive multiplayer online games…a docking sequence [between spacecraft] is actually relatively straightforward. So I’d encourage people in the gaming industry to think about creating the next generation of spacecraft and rockets.”
The biggest gaming conference of the year teases the most incredible interactive art around the corner. Here are our favorites from E3.
Will the AI we talk to be our servant, friend, or god?
Apple’s voice recognizing digital assistant, Siri, has a dry wit. Ask her to talk dirty, and she’ll respond, “Humus. Compost. Pumice. Silt. Gravel.” Microsoft recently debuted a similar digital assistant of their own. She’s called Cortana, modeled after an AI character in Microsoft’s hit video game series Halo. And much like Siri, she has a personality, though hers leans a bit more toward cockiness. Ask Cortana if she’s better than Siri, and she’ll brag about her video game namesake—pointing out that in 500 years, she’ll save the universe. But the reasons for designing Cortana this way extend past mere novelty.
"Their [vicemag] tone absolutely resonates with the Call of Duty audience. That’s all we asked for—apart from tying it into the premise of the game—just tell the story and let the insanity of the reality speak for itself.”