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Video: If Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 was released today

We’ve seen variations on this sort of thing before, but this mocked-up glimpse at our industry’s terrifying future is more plausible than most. Something Awful founder Rich “Lowtax” Kyanka proposes what Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 might play like if…
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This Neuroscientist Wants To Use Video Games Like Medicine

Games may have their roots in entertainment, but the technology powering the $ 90 billion industry has the capacity to make in impact outside of fun and artistic value. Dr. Adam Gazzaley is harnessing the concept of "neuroplasticity" (the brain's ability change in response to behavior, environment, and a number of other stimuli) in concert with video games to promote positive brain performance.

During a presentation at Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine convention, Gazzaley, a gamer and neuroscientist from the University of California San Francisco, outlined his ideas for utilizing specially-designed games in neurological medicine. Dr. Gazzaley has been working with members of the LucasArts team to develop video games that can measure and track their effects on the brain.

The games are simplistic and feature various prompts that are designed to promote synaptic response from different areas of the player’s brain. One of those games, NeuroRacer, is a plain driving game where players have to shoot down signs of different colors at different intervals.

When measuring the results of repeated play of NeuroRacer, Gazzaley and his team tracked marked improvements in memory and attention span and other cognitive functions, both in younger and older players.

NeuroRacer isn’t the only game in Gazzaley’s project. Others link physical and cognitive fitness, rhythm, attention, and meditation to study, measure, and describe the prophylactic effects of video games on the human brain.

Another one of Gazzaley’s projects, entitled GlassBrain (watch the video below), utilizes MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), DTI (diffusion tensor imaging), and the Unity3D engine to create a real-time model of an individual’s brain. When using the hardware and software, users can watch their brain work in real time.

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Gazzaley hopes to continue development on his games by making them more interesting and compelling, including realistic environments, difficulty levels, and in-game avatars for user engagement. It’s with these tools and interest that Gazzaley is trying to figure out if games can be a tool for extending human brain life.

[Source: Singularity Hub]

 

Our Take
Dr. Gazzaley's work is the yang to a common yin: since their infancy, games have gotten a bad rap as instruments of violence, so it's really good to see a medical professional – who has first-hand knowledge of games – working on a project that combats that notion. Hopefully, Gazzaley's work can change the conversation about the effects of video games on human brain development. Neuroracer won't win any game of the year awards, but the whole project goes to prove that the medium isn't always the message (sorry, Marshall McLuhan).

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This Week in Video Game Criticism: From Bayonetta to Beyonce and from Shakespeare to Twine Games

This week, our partnership with game criticism site Critical Distance brings us picks from Kris Ligman on topics ranging intersections of Shakespeare and gameplay to the pop musicality of Bayonetta 2. …


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The Witcher Adventure Game’s video tutorial explains the race for Victory Points

As is the case with most fantasy adventures, digital (and real-world) board game The Witcher Adventure Game gets complicated. Thankfully, series developer CD Projeket RED has put together the in-depth introduction above, which familiarizes would-be…
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Three New Trailers And Q & A Video Answer All Your Questions About Persona Q

Persona Q for 3DS  is a little over a week, and if you have any lingering questions about the game, you probably won't after this.

Atlus has released three new trailers detailing the game's battle and map system, and well as the game's FOEs – basically powerful enemies. You can check out the three new trailer below.

Battle trailer
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Drawing maps trailer
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FOEs trailer
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Alongside the trailer, Atlus' John Hardin also answers some more questions about the game in the Q and A video you see below.

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For more on Persona Q, head here to read five reasons why you should be excited about the game. Persona Q released November 25 exclusively for 3DS.

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New Video Details Evolve’s Development History

In the last episode of The Evolution of Evolve, we got an early peek at the asymmetric multiplayer game’s “Big Alpha.” This time around, the show goes behind the scenes, showing off the many iterations Evolve had before it became the game it is now.

In the video, Adam Sessler once again interviews developers at Turtle Rock and uncovers new details. Originally, there would only be one hunter for each class of character. Turtle Rock later decided to give players a wider breadth of choice and introduced more characters, including the support class’ Cabot  and Abe the trapper.

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But the developer didn’t always err on the side of player choice. Early versions of the game had no character classes, instead allowing players their choice of equipment. Turtle Rock soon realized that some weapons loadouts made squad victories impossible and later went with the four class set up Evolve has now. 

Evolve will be out on February 10, 2015 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Check out the video above for even more revelations about the game’s development process. 

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Video: Curating culture through a new wave of video game events

Bars, libraries, festivals — these aren’t typically places you’ll find video games, but Wild Rumpus organizer Marie Foulston believes they should be; she explains why in this GDC 2014 panel session. …


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Majora’s Mask comparison video highlights 3DS enhancements

Does Nintendo’s upcoming 3DS remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask match up to your memories of the original Nintendo 64 version? The above video, assembled by YouTube channel ninten2tv, shows off the 3DS version’s enhanced texture detail and…
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World of Speed gameplay video takes a spin through Moscow

World of Speed is an MMO-style racing game from Need for Speed: Shift and Shift 2: Unleashed developer Slightly Mad Studios, and this is some of the first gameplay footage we’ve seen since the game’s announcement in February. The video shows off…
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Video: Understanding how analytics help you make better games

Understanding analytics data is critical if you want to make your best games. Epic Games’ Jim Brown shows you how, using examples from Fortnite’s development, in this GDC Europe 2014 talk. …


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