Monday, April 18, 2011


Here ya go! Decided to do a news article on the rumors of Nintendo's new handheld being harmful to players. Enjoy! And, as always, thank you for reading!


Since the 1980’s, Nintendo has always been known to be the best when it comes to handheld gaming. With releases such as the Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance, and Nintendo DS, they have made sure to secure that title. Nevertheless, with Nintendo’s newest creation, the Nintendo 3DS, they have reached a potentially devastating problem. Released on March 27th of this year, the sales of the 3DS have posed no problem for the company as they have continued to break records. However, Nintendo’s true dilemma lies within the fact that there have been many reports of minor health problems, such as headaches and migraines, due to the handheld console’s 3D images. Some critics have also been cited stating that playing the 3DS is simply uncomfortable to play.

For those that do not know, the Nintendo 3DS is able to display multiple planes on a flat screen. Although, when well developed, the images are crisp and clean featuring what seems to be a 3-dimensional universe, this is where the handheld’s problems occur.

When a person notices an object, their eyes focus completely on it creating a clear observation. At the same time, the vision of everything else around that object is blurred. This feat cannot be done with the Nintendo 3DS, causing discomfort as the player’s eyes try to focus on a certain plane displayed on screen. This is especially worse with children as doctors’ have reported that prolonged exposure to 3D images can have an adverse effect on eyesight development.

Nintendo quickly combated these reports with its legal shield: the Health Risk Warning. Nintendo states in their warning that:

· Nintendo recommends players take a break after 30 minutes of play

· If your physical condition worsens or you become ill, please stop playing at once

· 3D not recommended for children under the age of six as the vision of young children is still in developmental stages

· It is possible for anyone to enjoy playing Nintendo 3DS since it can be changed to 2D to avoid any effects on young children’s vision

While this warning is informative and clearly presents any problems that may be associated with the 3D images, it also raises some pertinent questions.

It is recommended that children under the age of six to not be exposed to the 3D images the console displays. Nonetheless, Nintendo’s handhelds are usually aimed toward the younger crowd and the main selling point of the 3DS is the 3D mode it offers. Not allowing one of the largest consumer bases to utilize the device’s draw point could warrant the public’s undesirable frustration with their purchase.

Another debate arising from the 3DS’ health warning is that it is recommended for players to take breaks after thirty minutes of play. For many handheld gamers, this can become a reoccurring problem as these consoles are mostly used for extended amounts of playtime when away from home, during road trips, or when on a plane. Players are able to turn off the 3D mode and play in 2D but, once again, the 3D images are the main selling point of the console. To be forced to turn off the 3D mode or take a break every half an hour because of a headache or your eyes becoming uncomfortable seem to only hinder the usefulness of the 3DS.

Nevertheless, even with the reports of the 3DS being harmful, there have been no setback to sales. Also, no long term affects have been confirmed as most players who experienced any discomfort were able continue on gaming after a short break. The only action is to wait and see if anything other than minor health problems surface. As for now, Nintendo claims, with responsibility, gamers can enjoy the 3DS without problem.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Don’t worry, it isn’t true. I was asked to write a humorous article for the college’s spoof paper and this is what I came up with. Hope you all enjoy it, and get at least one laugh from it. And, as always, thank you for reading!


Could it be true? After sales of video games such as Street Fighter IV, Tekken 6, and Fight Night Champion skyrocketing over the past couple months, it was believed that many gamers had become new fans to the fighting genre. However, after numerous accounts of bruised and injured children attending elementary schools across the state there had to be a connection.

To discover the truth behind this mystery, I visited the local Wal-Mart to see if I could discover any inside information, though none of the employees had any details that could help in this investigation. Still, I was able to gain a lead by witnessing a peculiar event taking place in the Electronics section.

A father and mother entered the section with stern looks on their faces while dragging their black-eyed child along with them. He shouted, “I don’t want a video game! I don’t want one!”I could not imagine any child not wanting a video game, so I continued to view the scene. The father held the child as the mother gazed at the glass case, home to the Xbox 360’s catalog of games. She pointed out Street Fighter IV and I overheard her saying, “Maybe we can teach him how to throw a Hadoken (a fireball) . Then we’ll always win,” followed by the father smiling at his son, “How about that? Would you like to throw Hadokens?!”

Intrigued, I stayed put to witness a number of other children trying to avoid Electronics. Adding to my confusion were parents arguing over the last copies of UFC: Undisputed 2010.

To further my investigation I followed one family back to their home. Inside, they hounded the poor child to continue playing video games. Even when he looked up and ask to do his homework they shouted back that he was going to keep playing until he learned every move.

Inching ever so slightly to the truth, I stalked the nearest Play N’ Trade searching for information. Instead of me finding the facts though, the facts found me. A strange man approached me while I was asking around and told me that he would talk, but it had to be someplace safe because “they” were always watching. From that moment, I knew I would have to tread these waters carefully since danger was afoot! (Insert suspenseful music here)

We met at a coffee shop and when I asked his name he refused and said this conversation never took place. He went on to inform me that many parents had discovered a new form of gambling. It involved children battling it out in underground matches utilizing moves from popular video games. I was astounded, appalled, aroused, amazed, astonished, in abhorrence, felt antipathy; I couldn’t think of any other a- words to describe how I felt. I then asked where these matches were taking place and, after much persuasion (and having two less Abraham Lincolns in my wallet), I had discovered the location of these underground brawls.

On my way to Chuck E. Cheese, I prepared myself for the worst. I pictured children performing 12 Hit Combos and fatalities on each other while parents laughed in the background tossing money about. Sick to my stomach, I walked toward the dark corner of the children’s playhouse to find a man guarding a door to the back room. He asked for a password and I told him the one given to me by the mysterious man I conversed with earlier: Toasty (a Mortal Kombat term said by a rather strange man with a high pitched voiced after fighters performed an uppercut for those who do not understand the reference).

I was allowed in after being handed a flyer with the club’s such as rules:

1. You do not talk about Super Smash Children: Brawl.

2. You DO NOT talk about Super Smash Children: Brawl!

3. Moves must be utilized from fighting games only.

4. A $20 donation is recommended but not mandatory.

And then I shuddered! I walked into a ringed arena where children batted each other while parents howling out at them to perform moves such as a Yoga Teleport and Bicycle Kick. They even yelled out Toasty in unison every time a child landed an uppercut on the other.

I immediately left and ran to the police only to be met with laughter. Even when I was able to get one of them to accompany me to Chuck E. Cheese, there was no trace in the back room of the event as if it never happened. They believed me to be crazy but I know what I saw. Do not buy into the lies of these so-called loving parents. I notice many of them giving me an evil glare. They’re onto me because they figured out that I know the truth. But you can pick up where I left off! You can help these children! I plead with you all, help stop this madness and save these poor children before any of them have to suffer another Dragon Punch again!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


No review this time. But what I have is a brief editorial about my opinions on the current state of the survival horror genre. Enjoy! And, as always, thanks for reading!


After years of Disney and other children video games, publisher Capcom wished to deliver something new and refreshing to the video game market. In March of 1996, the gaming community was introduced to a genre unlike any other. “Resident Evil” released on the original Playstation wowing gamers with its distinct game play. No longer could players charge into unexplored areas with guns blazing and infinite ammo. Instead, with a limited inventory, players had to contemplate on important items to carry knowing evil and danger lurked around every corner. The in game characters were made weaker than the surrounding enemies and players never truly knew when and where zombies and monsters would appear. Adding to the tension was the fact that healing items and ammo were not a supplemental value, and that the conservation of the two were of the utmost importance as well as the key to overcoming this terrifying nightmare.

Being the first of its kind, the game was placed into a new genre called: Survival Horror. Following this new craze many other companies released their own takes on the genre; one of the most famous being Konami’s “Silent Hill” franchise. Gamers praised this new type of game play as it forced them to make rash decisions in a moment’s notice. Was it better to carry two healing herbs with a pistol or take the shotgun and ammo leaving behind any sort of healing factor? Is it better to just run past the looming enemies leaving myself vulnerable or waste precious ammo to clear a safe path? These were just some of the questions players had to ask themselves while participating in these horror-filled adventures.

Yet, as the years went on many companies began to stray from the tried and true formula of the genre’s founding fathers. This is because of two main reasons: The first is that many of these games became, in a way, repetitive in the eyes of the community. The formula was not broken, but gamers desired new changes and evolutions. The second is due to a market mostly dominated by casual gamers, whereas releasing these difficult games created weary sales numbers as only the most dedicated and hardcore of the crowd were able to persevere.

As new survival horror video games are developed and released, such as the “Condemned 2: Bloodshot” and the “F.E.A.R.” series, many of them seemed to focus more on fast-paced action and explosive sequences. For the most part, conserving ammo and health are no immense task any more as each come in great supply. Even the creator of the genre, Capcom, has altered its series greatly with its newest entries to the series, “Resident Evil 4” and “Resident Evil 5.” Even though these video games are not, by any means, poorly made—“Resident Evil 4” is praised by many as one of the greatest games ever made, let alone the best in the series—they just have not been able to deliver the same tension building and terrifying atmosphere that fans of the genre are so used too. They have, instead, delivered cheap scares and thrills with simple game play.

Gamers have realized that the survival horror genre is not brimming with life as it used to be. However, all is not loss. The releases of “Dead Space” and “Dead Space 2”—even though both contain their share of simplicity and cheap scares—have been seen as nods to what the genre once was delivering on chilling atmosphere and horrific enemies and have received much praise because of it. They are not perfect but with more casual gamers turning their heads in interest there is hope for survival horror. Hopefully developers will realize this growing love and be able to resuscitate this dying genre, giving it the life the gaming community remembers it thriving upon.