At Once

It is amazing to witness just how exactly technology has an impact on our everyday lives. We can traverse the globe in great metal flying machines that can take us anywhere we want in a matter of hours. Our food lasts longer in the fridge and on the shelf than ever before, and we are enjoying all manner of different tastes. We can communicate with one another over literally nothing more than thin air instantaneously. It seems that there are no longer any borders, any true dividing lines. We are becoming one shared and united cultures, with similar ideals and points of contention. Technology has done wonders for truly uniting certain aspects of the human experience. It is easier than ever in this day and age to see just how similar we are, no matter where we might have originally grown up. There can be no borders, it seems.

Video game technology, as much as any other piece of technology might be, advances in such a way as to unite and inspire others. For the longest time, it has been the consoles that have dominated the gaming experience, gamers tethered to machines and physical media. Of course, downloadable content and the personal-computing aspect of gaming were contenders, sure. However, it is not until now that we have truly been able to do away with a physical media and move into the future. The future that we speak of is, of course, cloud computing. More specifically, it is cloud gaming, the on-demand experience that gamers seem to crave. For more information, please visit Kotaku


Come Together

Is it better to be cooperative or competitive? This is a question that has plagued people for generations. As you can see, it has very often come down to how the parties can both benefit in the best way possible for them. If you were to ask, some people might say that competitive nature wins out every time while others might insist that cooperation is key to survival in not only business, but as well in most aspects of life. It is probably prudent to mention that we are beings that have transcended the need for such a black-and-white argument. Yes, it is important to be competitive by nature, as that is a very tried and true method of getting ahead in this world. However, you can absolutely not do it on your own. Somewhere along the line, you will need to rely upon someone for even the most rudimentary type of help. Now, saying this, there is another question that should be brought up: is it proper to be competitive to the point that you alienate anyone that can help you?

Cooperation and competition are basic tenets of business. They have been around since the first cavemen traded for supplies or food that they absolutely needed. Nothing so dire and ultimately necessary occurs these days, but it is clear that you need a healthy mix of competitive nature and cooperation between parties in order to get something substantial accomplished in this world. This extends even to the video game world. UGO and IGN are two of the largest, if not the largest, video gaming sites on the web, bringing news, reviews, and opinion on the latest games to the masses. For a while, they were intense competitors. However, it seems like those days are over: they have announced that a partnership has been formed between the two. Please visit Time for all the details.


Phenomena

One of the few constants in the world of popular technology is that you can never truly anticipate or predict, with any appreciable certainty, what will be popular and what will not. For every iPhone there is a Segway, you could say. You cannot really tell how something will be received by the public, or in what way it will have an impact on both popular culture and the technology world in general. You find that sometimes the big-money, throw-everything-at-it initiatives will turn out just the way you expected them to, with big paydays and critical acclaim. However, there is a curious little phenomenon present with our new technology that has an interesting and much more close-to-home impact than you might realize. Sometimes, contrary to real life but bolstered by movies and pop culture mainstays, the underdog, the little guy, wins big. Sometimes, the out-of-left-field piece of technology changes the game in a big, big way.

Video game development companies spend millions of dollars every year to develop the next generation of games, playable movies that double as out-of-body experiences for $60 a title. We, as the game-playing and game-purchasing public, will go along with it. It’s a thing of love and loyalty, to both the games themselves and to the hobby in general. However, it seems that a shake-up is occurring all around us. One of the most popular, if not the most popular video game on the market today is a simple physics game that sells in the App Store for roughly $2. Of course, we are talking about that juggernaut Angry Birds. It has made Apple a great deal of money, and this looks to be the trend for the coming year. 2011 could see Apple reign in over $1.6 billion in video game sales alone. For more information, please visit Forbes.


Uniting

There is an interesting phenomena occurring right now, under your very noses and among your peers, that you might or might not be privy to or aware of. However, it is very much so happening. It is most exemplified within the field of popular technology, but make no mistake, it is one that can be found anywhere and is usually found everywhere. It is a constant debunking of the myth of universal acclaim, the pure and simple fact that nothing can be without fault, nothing can completely, 100-percent well-received. Dissenting opinions will always be present, this is a pure fact. However, if you take them for what they are (and provided that they are not said in mean spirits), criticism can and often does lead to the betterment of the individual. You will never encounter something that is universally reviled or universally celebrated. Usually.

Of course, there always seems to be something that can take your previous definitions and concepts and turn them on their heads. There seems to be one singular thing that, when brought up in common conversation, elicits emotions that vary between derision and utter, palpable contempt. Of course, it was a prominent feature of the technology world, and has since left its impact on technological and popular culture alike. What, you ask, could this mysterious “thing” be? Well, it is a rather simple answer: Clippy. Yes, that pesky little cartoon paperclip that was featured in earlier editions of Microsoft Word is generally a reviled subject. However, a few game developers are now giving him his own title. Find more information at Design Taxi.


To Evolve

It is a universal constant, perhaps the only universal constant that we as sentient beings can rely on, that things are going to change. There is absolutely nothing we can do to stop this phenomenon. There are too many variables, too many people, and too little time for any one person to stem the tides of change and progress. Even on an atomic scale, we are subject to a billion changes over the course of the day. The best thing that we can hope to do in response to such a harsh and unforgiving reality is to adapt, to attempt to recognize the coming changes and to alter our plans and actions accordingly. You have been doing this all your life, really. You have done it so much, in fact, that it takes reminders or reflection to realize that change is an absolute. It is a reigning factor in not only your day but also in the great overall, the big picture. Really, we are beings not of stasis but of absolute change.

As our environment changes, so too do we. As we change, so too do our constructs, our society, and our plans of action regarding how we approach these things. The onset of the Internet has done some amazing things for industries as diverse as manufacturing and entertainment are to one another. One of these things the Internet has done is to bring our entertainment directly to the consumer, and it seems that this practice has bled out into the real world. Redbox, the popular DVD rental kiosk in the United States has been a major player in the film business for the past few years. They are looking to move further into the entertainment realm by integrating video game rentals into their business model. For more information, please visit mlive.


Work of Art(?)

How do we quantify or qualify something as a work of art? This is a question that gets asked quite a bit these days, and for good reason. Is it a work of art because of how it makes us feel in response? Does a good work of art, whatever the medium, allow for a succinct yet varied emotional response? Will a great work of art move some to tears and others to laughter? Sure, for that is what art can be thought of as: a medium by which emotions, thoughts, feelings, and viewpoints can be conveyed. There are any number of ways that one can do this, through graphic art or filmmaking or writing or through music as well as many others too numerous to list here. The point is, what we refer to as ‘art’ does not have a solid or set definition. Art is malleable. Art is ever-changing, yet retains the same basic tenets. What is considered art to some might not be considered the same to others. It is all in how you look at it.

On of the more heated debates raging in today’s entertainment world is whether or not video games could be considered works of art. There are those on both sides of the argument with valid, thought-out opinions, yes. However, it would seem that those in favor of considering this media an artform are gaining ground. With the release of Portal 2, gamers are seeing one of the most highly-anticipated titles of the decade become on of the most well-received games in history. However, it too has been dragged into the ‘video games as art’ debate by fans and detractors alike. For more information and a solid opinion piece, please visit Ames 24/7


A Bit of Truth

Rumors are a mainstay in the world of technology. Indeed, it seems that every time you boot up your computer to peruse the newest tech stories, there is a new and outrageous rumor. Perhaps a new, extraordinary gadget is being developed by a major technology firm, one that could change the game. Perhaps a new video game title is set to be released a little earlier or a little later than previously thought. Whatever the case may be, these rumors mostly end up as little more than what they started out as: simple rumors, miscommunication, or something that got a little overstated. That is not to say that rumors do not have their place in the tech realm. They can be good catalysts for discussion, can move a dialogue on a particular issue into the limelight and truly get something rolling. They can of course also be catalysts for action, inspiring those who wish to see the fantastical brought to the real world.

It seems that even the most out-there rumors can be found to be true once in a while. We reported last week that Nintendo was rumored to have been on the cusp of announcing a new video gaming console at this June’s E3 Expo. The successor to the Nintendo Wii was also rumored to be a further innovator in the realm of the controller, as this new system was purported to have built-in high-definition screens that would compliment the big-screen gaming experience. A few of these rumors have now reportedly been confirmed. In a press release, Nintendo has confirmed that a new console will be released in 2012, and that specifics will be outlined at this summer’s E3 Expo. The rumors regarding the controller’s specifications were not addressed, but are expected to be the keynote of the E3 demo. For more information, please visit Gamers’ Mint.


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