video games

car hacks

This Guy Hacked His Car To Play Mario Kart

As someone who has turned a car into a video game controller before, I feel that I’m completely qualified to say that this is way better than the crude, 8-bit era hack I cobbled together to play Pole Position with a Lancia and an Atari. What Adam Ringwood and his friends did with a Chevrolet Volt and a tiny, cheap-ass computer is really quite amazing, and, even better, should be easier for people to duplicate on their own cars. Where I just wired motion switches to the steering wheel and simple switches to the shifter and pedals, what this team did was to use the car’s internal CAN bus to get access to the various dashboard controls. And they did all this at the HackIllinois event this past year. The game itself is played on a Raspberry Pi little single-board computer, which is running a Nintendo 64 emulator. The emulator normally looks for controller inputs, so the goal was to connect the computer to the car via the car’s OBDII port. An add-on board provided the interface between the Raspberry Pi and the car’s OBDII port and CAN bus. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

amber naismith

The Lego Movies’ Secret Gaming Roots

Around this time three years ago The Lego Movie arrived in theaters and everything was awesome. No one would ever imagine that a feature-length toy commercial could actually be one of the funniest, smartest, and most imaginative movies of the year, even if it totally got robbed of an Oscar nomination. Since then, the Lego cinematic universe has only expanded. By the time I stop laughing at jokes from February’s Lego Batman Movie, it’ll be time to laugh at jokes from The Lego Ninjago Movie hitting theaters this September. But as fans of Lego in all kinds of media, we couldn’t help but notice how these films’ wild sense of humor reminded us of the long-running series of Lego video games and its wacky cutscenes. And after playing three of the most recent Lego games (Lego Worlds, Lego City Undercover, and Lego Dimensions), the movie-game connections seemed even stronger. Was it just a coincidence that these two branches of the Lego tree resembled each other? Maybe, or maybe not. So to get to the bottom of this, we went to the source and talked to employees at TT Games, the developer behind the Lego games, and Animal Logic, the animation…


Debunking the claimed link between sexism and video games

A recent article came out by a collaboration force of Iowa State University, University Grenoble Alpes and Universite Savoie Mont Blanc of France talking about sexism and video game exposure in adolescents. As one may expect, based on the first sentence which reads, “Research has indicated that many video games are saturated with stereotypes of women and that these contents may… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!


Debunking the supposed link between sexism and video games

A recent article came out by a collaboration force of Iowa State University, University Grenoble Alpes and Universite Savoie Mont Blanc of France talking about sexism and video game exposure in adolescents. As one may expect, based on the first sentence which reads, “Research has indicated that many video games are saturated with stereotypes of women and that these contents may… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!


Mad science – Finding inspiration as a bedroom developer

People love to criticize video games – take a look at the user reviews on Metacritic – but players might not be so quick to hand out zeroes if they’d gone through the process of making their own RPG or shooter themselves, the sleepless nights over broken code and whether or not to take the plunge on isometric graphics instead of… READ FULL STORY AT THEGG!

gran turismo

Gran Turismo Lied To Us

Modifying a car always makes it better. Stock cars are as bad as cars can be. These are lies, lies told to us by Gran Turismo. Advertisement It’s something that’s immediately clear once you drive some kid’s first car, first modified car. Too stiff, too rattly, too boosty. The sensations of wow this is exciting isn’t this exciting this is exciting right are all there, despite the car clearly being measurably worse than it was when it left the factory. That’s exactly what Regular Car Reviews picked up on when driving a blobeye Subaru WRX STi, one that’s being converted back to stock from being modified by its 19-year-old previous owner. The stock STi is faster, smoother, better in the real world, though it masks its sensation of speed with road-crushing performance. That’s why you so often find these things modified, RCR notes. But also to blame is Gran Turismo, the way in which so many of today’s car enthusiasts first encountered modified car culture. The stock car was the slowest car, the worst-handling car. Every mod made the car better. Advertisement But what READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


What I’ve Learned From Tinkering With the Raspberry Pi for Five Years

Today is Pi Day and what better way to celebrate everyone’s favorite mathematical constant than by taking a look back at everyone’s favorite $35 hobbyist computer, the Raspberry Pi. Since the launch of the Raspberry Pi, I’ve written an absurd number of guides, blogs, and an already outdated book on the variety of projects you can do with it. I’ve learned a lot it that time. Troubleshooting Is a Life Skill You Have to Practice The joy I get from finding a solution to some dumb problem is one of the main things that drew me to the Raspberry Pi to begin with. Thankfully, Raspberry Pi projects have gotten easier over the years. Where it was once a complicated process to build an SD card, it’s now pretty much automatic. Still, the Raspberry Pi is far, far away from being as user friendly as a PC or Mac. That’s a feature, not a bug. The Raspberry Pi is built to force you to learn troubleshooting, and that’s still one of my favorite things about it. Advertisement Before hobbyists latched onto the Raspberry Pi, it was a computer for learning how READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


The Counter-Culture of the 60s is Alive and Well in Games

Every year a massive chunk of the games industry makes the trek to San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference. While it used to be right up alongside E3 as the place to announce your next major console or project, it’s since shifted a bit. Taking a cue from San Francisco’s history as a hub for the avant-garde, GDC is now all about the independent games. Even the big players like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo tout the little guys at GDC. Alongside the Braids and the Insides of the independent world, there’s also a crop of indie developers that wear punk and counter-culture aesthetics as naturally as the hippies of the Haight-Ashbury. While they might not catch the attention of the masses, these folks are an important testing ground for the ideas we’ll see in games five or ten years down the line. GDC hosts countless minds that want to push the boundaries of what games can do. They hold open houses and mid-hallway demos for press and other developers alike. Some, looking for a job, others just trying to show off the latest build of a game they’ve been working on for READ FULL STORY AT GEEK!


Pick Up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild For $48 With Amazon Prime Before It Sells Out

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is quickly becoming the game to have and right now, if you have Amazon Prime, you can knock off $12 a physical copy for the Switch. Better grab it while it’s still in stock. $48 From amazon 2288 purchased by readers Gizmodo Media Group may get a commission READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Why These Great Game Consoles Failed Spectacularly

There are few classes of consumer electronics that have had as exhilarating heights and as cringe-inducing lows as video game consoles. Since the Magnavox Odyssey plugged into TVs back in 1972 and delivered Pong to the masses, gaming consoles have demanded our attention. Advertisement Some have been extraordinary. Atari, Nintendo, Sony, and even Microsoft have all changed how we think and interact with video games. But while there have been remarkable successes in gaming consoles, there have also been many unmitigated failures—systems so ill-advised, so poorly planned, or so terribly marketed, that they were doomed to e-waste facilities and top shelves of closets as soon as they appeared. These are some of those. Philips Videopac +G7400 [embedded content] In 1983, the video game market crashed. It was such a catastrophic event and nearly took every video game maker with it. One console axed as soon as the market fell was the Magnavox Odyssey 3 “Command Center.” It was going to be incredible, for 1983: rich 8-bit graphics, a 300 baud modem, and mechanical keys. It was even shown off at READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


A Brief History of Filmmakers Explaining Why Video Game Movies Suck

Hollywood keeps making video games movies and they keep being terrible. So, the people in Hollywood keep on having to talk about whether any video game film adaptation will ever be good. Advertisement Starting in the 1990s, the earliest live-action video game movies were blatant cash-in affairs, meant to pull in dollars from a medium that Hollywood studios had no stake in and barely understood. Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter, and Mortal Kombat were total cheesefests, barely recognizable contortions that seemed embarrassed to even exist. A new wave began in the 2000s, sparked by the better-than-most execution of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001. But Hollywood did as Hollywood does, chasing after success with lesser wannabe fare, like the oeuvre of infamous director Uwe Boll. Postal, Alone in the Dark, and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege ramped up the idea that video game movies were destined to be horrible. Advertisement Since then, that “video game movies suck” idea has become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy that creators involved with video game movies have to dodge and contend with. Likewise, the READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

guardians of the galaxy

Marvel Games Won't Be Tied to MCU, Which Is the Best Decision They Could Make

Courtesy Marvel Games Marvel Games isn’t forcing its developers to tie their video games into existing Marvel Cinematic Universe storylines. This might sound weird, given how interconnected the MCU has been over the past decade, but it’s actually a blessing in disguise. Advertisement Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann told IGN at DICE 2017 that the teams behind Marvel’s upcoming video game releases were granted the freedom to come up with their own storylines, and they won’t have to match release dates with upcoming films. These include: Spider-Man for PS4, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and The Avengers project from Square Enix. “It’s a bit like we’re saying, ‘Hey you’re the chef, you’re going to make this meal. Here’s all of the ingredients. You pick the ingredients that you like and make a new meal,’” Rosemann said. “We want all of our games to tell an original, all new story.” Advertisement This is not an accident. Even though the MCU has been, on average, more successful than the DCEU, Marvel has largely sucked in the video games department. Many READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

How To Throw Your Video Game Controller

Illustrations by Kevin Whipple Video games are a lot of fun, but they can also be frustrating. From time to time, you may even get frustrated enough that you want to throw something. Good news! Your controller is right there in your hand. Advertisement I’ve often heard people refer to a game as “controller-throwingly difficult.” This is an evocative description, but it only tells part of the story. Video games are not defined according to a throw/no-throw binary. They exist along a spectrum of frustration. Likewise, there are many degrees of video game controller-throw. With help from illustrator Kevin Whipple, I have outlined a collection of the most common techniques. They are arranged in order of escalation. 1. The Shake Shake the controller forcefully but keep it safely in hand. Carefully set it down and take a break. Alternately, mash all the buttons for about one second instead of shaking. 2. The Almost Slam Raise the controller up in anger. Start to bring it down on a surface in front of you, then catch yourself short and firmly set it down instead. 3. The Slam This time, do not catch yourself. Slam the controller onto your desk or coffee table,…


Playing Retro Games on These Tiny Arcade Cabinets Is Still More Fun Than on a Smartphone

The thrill of realizing you can play the classic arcade games you grew up with on your smartphone is immediately gone once you actually try to guide Pac-Man around a maze using touchscreen controls. It’s so frustrating that you might consider carrying around one of these incredibly tiny arcade machines in your pocket, in addition to your phone. Advertisement When a game is specifically designed to be played using a touchscreen, like Angry Birds or Super Mario Run, it can be a very enjoyable experience, as directly interacting with on-screen characters enables some unique gameplay elements. But games developed in the ‘80s, when touchscreens were primitive at best, were designed around joysticks, buttons, and other physical hardware. Replicating those controls as on-screen buttons means you’ll be constantly looking away from the game itself to make sure your fingers are in the right place. It’s an added distraction you don’t need when you’re trying to outrun a bunch of ghosts. Advertisement Super Impulse, the company responsible for READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!