The History of the Sims [YouTube] [33:12] “Very few games can say they presented something truly original to medium like The Sims did, and even fewer can boast the kind of cultural significance it has. Released in 2000, The Sims allowed players to puppeteer the lives of virtual people, micromanaging every aspect of their existence with no real goal other than whatever they set for themselves. For some, The Sims provided unparalleled escapism, letting them live out a fantasy life through in-game characters. For others it was an invitation to indulge their creative whims by crafting ideal homes and, of course, there's also those that indulged their sadistic side by toying with the lives of Sims in cruel but often amusing ways.” [via: Gamespot] [more inside]
Did BioShock Define the Last 10 Years of Video Games? [A.V. Club] “Ten years ago today, Irrational Games’ sci-fi first-person shooter BioShock [YouTube] [Trailer] was released, and its story of a ruined undersea city and the brutal objectivist that led it to its doom was instantly canonized as one of the medium’s strongest artistic statements. The art-deco-adorned city of Rapture was realized with a depth and vision few games had ever approached and populated with some unforgettable characters, like the twisted artist Sander Cohen and the city’s power-hungry founder Andrew Ryan. Its grappling with Randian philosophy gave the dialogue a high-minded and dramatic flair, all of which culminated in its iconic twist and commentary on the futility of choice in video games. In the years since, BioShock’s shine has waned. So many of its most foundational elements found their way into games of all genres and scopes, and its flaws practically became more talked about than its merits.” [more inside]
The Making of Final Fantasy 12 [Polygon] “Controversy trails behind the Final Fantasy series with each new release. From cries of betrayal when Final Fantasy 7 jumped ship to PlayStation to frustration over the story changes Final Fantasy 15 underwent during its tortuous 10-year development process, there's simply no such thing as an easy birth when it comes to Square Enix's biggest franchise. Final Fantasy 12, the 2006 PlayStation release whose overhauled high-definition remake The Zodiac Age launches July 11, may well have been the most tortuous release of all. Arriving years late and abandoning numerous established series traditions in favor of a radically overhauled play style, FF12 immediately inspired ardent enthusiasm and passionate hatred among the series' faithful, with seemingly little room in between.” [more inside]
At 20 years old has the concept of the Electronic Arts Expo expired? [Warning Wired.com link] In 2003 MeFi discussed the possible death of E3, yet it's still happening in 2016. But after this year will any of the big software or hardware names be in attendance? [more inside]
Reaching for inspiration, Haskel based his first program on the prevailing trend in the video game market: sporty, ping-pong type games popularized by the [Magnavox] Odyssey and Atari's Pong arcade machine. The games made a big impact on Haskel, who vividly recalls the first time he saw the Odyssey in action during a visit to a department store. "I was going to see the furniture department, and there was a little kid playing Odyssey," recalls Haskel. "I sat down and played with him for probably an hour. It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. I couldn't get that out of my mind."—The Untold Story of the Invention of the Game Cartridge by Benj Edwards of Vintage Computing and Gaming, who started researching the subject after interviewing one of the people involved, Jerry Lawson, in 2009.
In the early to mid 90s there was a trend in video games to use newfound CD processing capabilities to make interactive movies. These were called Full Motion Video Games (wiki), and they are cataloged by the site FMV World. In addition to a blog, it also has writings about FMV games, systems that play the games, some recorded play-throughs, and a list of games from 1991 to present. [more inside]