They will sell us cardboard and we will buy it

One of the biggest things I am looking forward to in the near future is playing games with my daughter. Although she is starting to play with toys, things will really get interesting when she starts understanding more complex rules and systems. And obviously, so of these will be mobile and video games.

But you don’t really want kids to be playing TOO much with a massive screen in front of their face, so I am really excited about what Nintendo just announced today. Some people are saying that it is an early April Fools joke, but I’m not buying that explanation.

Nintendo has a history of coming up with crazy devices that casual gamers just eat up. That’s why I can’t wait to try out Nintendo Labo. Just watch the video here before you read on:

Continue reading “They will sell us cardboard and we will buy it”

How a Facebook ad used nostalgia to make me download a mobile game

Although it is hard to believe, I have been a gamer for over 25 years. Starting on the Commodore 64 in the early 90s, moving onto a Windows 95 machine, first console experience with the first Playstation, and all the way through the modern consoles, mobile phones to desktop gaming.

It has been quite a ride and one of the games that has really stuck with me was Counter-Strike, which originally came out in 2000. Although the modern incarnation of that game is still being played, I still have very fond memories of playing the game with my buddies in LAN gaming bars.

And today, a random ad on Facebook reminded just how old I am to know the game so well. I saw the following ad for a mobile shooter:

pixelad

I have downloaded the Pixel Gun 3D game but haven’t really had time to play around with it. Maybe I will enjoy it, maybe I won’t; however, I absolutely love the fact that they used my love for the original Counter-Strike and the fact that I am a father now. Although I expect this is really targeted at kids whose parents played the original Counter-Strike, I don’t really care. I just loved this ad ❤

And the next thing I need to do next is download Counter-Strike and play a game or two 🙂 Anybody want to play a game?

Helden sterben nicht <3

When a young person dies, the first thing I tend to think about is all the lost potential. What could they have become? What life could they have lived? So, when I heard about a young man my age, who died very suddenly late last year, I was brought to tears by some of his final words.

Dennis Hawelka was a german professional esports player. While most pro esports players start in their teens, Dennis did not begin playing professionally until his late twenties but he quickly grew to prominence under the name “INTERNETHULK” as a great League of Legends and Starcraft player until finally playing and later coaching pro teams in my favorite game Overwatch. He suddenly passed away in November 2017.

What really struck a nerve with me was what he said during an interview for the Overwatch World Cup:

“I made a career out of gaming when I was 29. I had a rough past before that. I told my dad what I’m doing and he is watching my games. And it’s the best feeling in the world to actually make your parents proud. And I feel that’s what I did. It’s amazing!!!” 😢

A few days after he passed away, the developers behind the game Overwatch announced The Dennis Hawelka Award to “be presented at the end of each Overwatch League season to the player that we deem to have had the most positive impact on the community”. Just like Dennis brought joy to the community, future players will take over the mantle.

Overwatch developers even added a memorial for Dennis in the game:

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I ❤ DH … Crusader stehen wache und Helden sterben nicht!

 

 

The Power of Positivity in Gaming

 

One thing that tends to characterize online gaming is a lot of swearing and finger pointing. It is easier to blame others than to look at your own faults.

And the games truly reinforce this behavior. Whether they are modern military shooters or fantasy lands, most games are filled with destruction and violence. But I think that there is one popular game that goes against the grain at least a bit. That game is Overwatch.

Continue reading “The Power of Positivity in Gaming”

We are those who play

It’s just the beginning of 2018 and I am already missing deadlines. Feels like one of those moments in a game when you have a wave of enemies coming your way and you just accidentally drank some poison instead of a health potion.

That’s why it is so important to remind myself that all of this really is just a game. I love how the legendary game designer Hideo Kojima thinks about his life, his new game and his new studio Kojima Productions:

We are Homo Ludens (Those who play).

From the moment we enter this world, we instinctively invent ways to have “fun,”and share our inventions with those around us. We are not asked to do this, nor do we need reasons to create. It is simply who we are.

We find one another and compete with one another. We laugh together and cry together; all while playing together. Our experiences bind us and liberate us. To share our most valuable experiences, we create stories, invent tools, and evolve the art of play. Play has been our ally since the dawn of civilization.

“Playing” is not simply a pastime, it is the primordial basis of imagination and creation. Truth be told, Homo Ludens (Those who Play) are simultaneously Homo Faber (Those who Create).

Even if the earth were stripped of life and reduced to a a barren wasteland, our imagination and desire to create would survive – beyond survival, it would provide hope that flowers may one day bloom again. Through the invention of play, our new evolution awaits.

KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS – We are Homo Ludens. We are those who play.

We are those who play … indeed 🙂