Here are at least seven photos of one guy who took 80s gaming - TO THE EXTREME!
It's a miracle any arcades still exist, given the gaming technology we have available in our homes. Back in the 1980s, if we wanted the best graphics and gaming experiences the video game arcade was our only option. If we wanted to watch people playing games, there was no YouTube, no Twitch - we had to hang out at Funland, and peer over people's shoulders.
Here are at least seven photos of one guy who took 80s gaming - TO THE EXTREME!
Nintendo is still keeping its Switch cards close to its bosom, but one secret revealed by last week's reveal presentation is this secret: it looks like a return to cartridges for Nintendo. The potential pros and cons of this move hardly need spelling out, but - who knows - maybe it will allow for some interesting expansion of the Switch further along the line?
Here are ten cartridges which did exactly that back in the day.
It'd be easy to spend this whole review criticising the makers of Battlefield 1 for glorifying one of the most appalling conflicts in human history. You know: World War 1.
There's part of me that wants to do that, because that part has been programmed to think it should be outraged that human suffering gets turned into entertainment. Let's face it, though: this has always been the case. Whether it's video games, films, books, TV shows, or toy soldiers, if you're going to portray war in an entertainment medium there's always an element of titilation.
The only real way to get a better sense of war's cost is either to experience it first-hand, speak with veterans, or to go over there yourself and visit some of the battlefields. Indeed, I've been to France and Belgium with my dad. I've seen the trenches, and was suitably shocked by the scale of the devastation - the scars of which are still all too evident on the landscape.
I've wandered through the cemeteries, seen the memorials, and tried in vain to find something to eat in a small French village on a Sunday afternoon. I mean, what is it with Europe and Sundays, right? Everywhere closes. After a search lasting about an hour, we ended up finding a cafe, which begrudgingly served us a damp croissant with ham in it, which had presumably been left over from breakfast.
When we returned to the coach - scarcely less hungry than when we'd left - it was clear that the tour group organiser had had more success in finding an open establishment, because he came back considerably drunker than he'd been previously. He proceeded to swear aggressively at one of the other tour guests for returning late to the bus, and then sulked for the rest of the day, until he sobered up enough to apologise to the entire group.
Where was I? Oh yeah. World War 1.
I always found the Gears of War series difficult to love. While appreciating its distinct aesthetic, it always felt like it was trying just that little bit too hard to be edgy. Let's face it: the ones you need to watch out for aren't the ones who dress edgy, and stomp up and down outside Aldi going "I'm all edgy - you need to watch out for me, yeah?"
No. The ones you need to watch out for are the ones that look normal, that look like they conform. And then, when you go out for dinner with them, they suddenly pull out a hunting knife - in a middle of a conversation about your favourite films - and start waving it over your plate, while looking you in the eye without blinking.
Instead of adhering to the series' tendency towards bucket-necked grunts, who I related to about as much as I can relate towards a trough of raw meat with sparklers stuck in the top, this fourth incarnation of the Gears franchise gives us a group of protagonists who are much more accessible. Heck, there's even a none-too-surprising reappearance from a certain series' mainstay, albeit now recast as Old Han Solo.
Like The Force Awakens, the campaign here is all about handing over the torch to a new generation - and like The Force Awakens, it does so without offering anything that's going to startle the horses.
Well... crack my snapper. It's a properly bumper letters page this week. Following last week's limp and disappointing crop of letters, you've been rushing to its aid, like bystanders kneeling at the side of a freshly run-over pug.
This week's letters mark one week-and-a-bit since my Kickstarter campaign for Mr Biffo's Found Footage went live. As you may be aware, it's already standing at over £11,000, due to the generosity of so many of you.
This means I'll be able to put together a show that is significantly broader in scope than I'd originally planned. And have to dip into my own pocket a lot less than I was probably going to have to. If you think you'd enjoy a full series of Found Footage, please consider contributing to the campaign. Reaching our £13,500 stretch goal will get you a bonus Christmas special!
Head over to Kickstarter now. Alternatively, you can support me and Digitiser2000 in other ways - either by contributing to Patreon or Paypal, or by buying some of our merchandise. Our mugs and calendars are getting close to selling out, and we're very low on certain designs of t-shirts. Thanking you.
If you would like your letter to appear on next week's page, or you've something you'd like me to give some attention to in Plug Zone - please send your emails for next week to this place here: firstname.lastname@example.org
You watched the reveal trailer didn't you? So... by now you probably know that the Nintendo NX is actually called Nintendo Switch, and it's more or less what we all thought it'd be: a hybrid console, which works under your telly, but with a detachable screen.
In short: you'll be able to take it with you when you leave the house to use public conveniences, and carry on playing your games while braying like a mule in lavatory cubicles.
What we hadn't guessed on was the way the controller - which Nintendo calls its "Joy-Con" - would work. In short: the two extremes of the controller are detachable and modular.
You can either click them together onto some sort of base unit to make a bulky, more traditional controller, detach them and hold each section in a separate hand - a bit like the Wii nunchucks, so that you're able (as the reveal trailer showed us) to play games while slouching in your economy aeroplane seat like an insufferable pig - or slot them either side of the detachable screen, and hold it like a handheld.
You can also give one to a friend, turn them sideways, and use them separately for multiplayer games. Which is a nice touch. Nintendo also revealed a more traditional controller - which looked very DualShock/Xbox pad-y.
Is this the first time a Nintendo console hasn't featured the iconic Nintendo D-pad? I think so. Progress, brah.
Am I a failure? It isn't a question I ask myself often, but it is one that, I'm sure, we've all asked of ourselves. I know I've friends who view me as some big success, and I can totally see it from their perspective - even if I don't see it the same way. Almost 25 years on from its creation, Digitiser is still fondly enough remembered for 150 or so of you to give money to me every month.
I released a book, wrote a film that was critically mauled, and by any measure I'm a pretty successful kids TV writer. I have awards and nominations which are intended to tell me as such.
Admittedly, they don't mean a great deal to me. It's nice to get a pat on the head from your industry peers, but at the end of the day it's just opinions from a handful of people. It's success as measured by society; arbitrary and ultimately hollow. I don't fetishise or romanticise screenwriting as an art form, as some do. For me it's merely my job. Like all jobs, it's frequently a pain in the cracksie.
Getting an award for being World's Best Dad, or Best Partner, or just being known as a decent person, would mean more than anything else.
I'd much rather have personal satisfaction in my own work, knowing that I've been true to myself in what I produce. Something like Biffovision, or the recent Digifest spoof ads, mean far more to me than the Royal Television Society Award I've got semi-hidden behind the mirror in my living room, because I don't want it to look like I'm showing off.
1989's Game Boy Tetris wasn't the first Tetris. Alexey Pajitnov's iconic puzzler had been released five years previously, in the Soviet Union. Through a long and convoluted process, which makes US politics look streamlined - and somehow even involves disgraced media tycoon Robert Maxell - it eventually made it to the West via a mostly awful Commodore 64 conversion.
A year later, Nintendo bundled it with the Game Boy, and made Tetris synonymous with its new handheld.
In terms of its universal popularity, there's an argument for Tetris being the greatest video game of all time. Certainly, I can think of no other game which is so welcoming to everyone. Christmas 1990, for me, is defined by Tetris; it brought my entire family together.
Those pre-Game Boy versions of the puzzler lack the culturally dubious Russian music and theming that Nintendo slapped on its release. There are no onion domes, or reverse R to be seen. Mirrorsoft's Commodore 64 incarnation - despite having none of the fluid gameplay which would go on to make the Game Boy version one of the biggest games ever - even adopts a vaguely sci-fi look.
Nintendo saw the broad potential of Tetris, and knew that getting it into the hands of everyone was key. "From Russia With Fun" read the box artwork - and even the cover of the Game Boy packaging featured Tetris on the handheld's screen. Unlike Atari's Lynx and Sega's Game Gear, Nintendo wouldn't attempt to sell its system on graphics, but on entertainment. Tetris was as addictive as crack. No wonder they gave away that first hit for free.
"Hi. I'm Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook guy. As you might know, my company is investing heavily in virtual reality technology.
"We acquired the Oculus Rift VR system because I saw its potential in so many different areas; not only gaming, but medicine, engineering, and a new way of interacting with one another socially.
"VR, I firmly believe, will change the world - and in the decades to come will be the dominant technology pulling us forwards as a species.
"However, for me there's one application of the medium that I just can't wait to implement: using it to watch old episodes of Only Fools And Horses."
What is Q*Bert? Nobody is saying. The foul-mouthed ginger ball remains, 35 years after his creation, an enigma. Nevertheless, what can we learn from studying Q*Bert's physiology? Specifically: for what does he use his nozzle?
I've spent the last two years yelling to tell the world that it wasn't ready for virtual reality, so it's somewhat embarrassing to now admit that I might've been wrong.
That said, there's a caveat in there that I was also completely right about everything to do with VR. I mean, in all the articles I've written slating the technology, I have always at least said that the best chance it had of breaking through to the mainstream was with PlayStation VR.
By all accounts, we're seeing the first signs of that happening. A report in Venturebeat suggests that by the end of 2016, 6% of Americans will own VR technology. That sounds quite a lot, when you consider how many Americans there are, but less impressive for the top end of the market, once you look deeper into the figures.
You see, 93% of American VR headset owners will merely have a cheap and cheerful smartphone model, while only 1% will have either an absurdly overpriced Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. The remaining 6% of the market share is being smeared across the stomach of Sony's PlayStation VR.
That figure is set to rise over the next couple of years, with Strategy Analytics predicting that one in four Americans will own some sort of headset by 2018. However, the market will remain throttled by budget smartphone options - aka "Not Proper VR".
Nevertheless, Sony is already declaring the PlayStation VR a success, gesticulating vaguely towards launch sales in the "many hundreds of thousands", while interest is ramping up as word-of-mouth spreads like a male stripper.
There's something a bit depressing about computer shops, isn't there? Not games shops - but those independent businesses which repair computers, and sell bits of technology to plug into your computers. Plus, there are SO many of them.
Obviously, it's a cutthroat marketplace, and making your business stand-out with a snappy and memorable name is a necessity. Some people, however, just take it too far...
Remember Midway's Joust? It's one of the few video games to feature ostriches. There's a reason for that, and that reason is this reason: ostriches are horrible, and they hate humans, and why would anyone want to put ostriches in a game?
To prove it, here is the ultimate ostrich stare-out. Will you make it all the way to the end, or will you crumble beneath their abhorrent gaze?
For most of this year, PC owners have had the monopoly on virtual reality. Oh, how they've quietly looked down upon the rest of us, sneering and clucking from their lofty, gated communities, atop Mount Superior.
It's all changed now. The great, unwashed masses finally have access to VR, thanks to Sony and their almost-affordable PlayStation option. Making matters worse, with EVE: Valkyrie, we're not even content to stay in our slums and shanty towns; this is the first cross-platform multiplayer VR game, where PlayStation owners and Oculus Rift owners can rub their bellies against one another in the same virtual space.
That's right: it's like some immigration nightmare for the PC Master Race. We're no longer staying confined to our communities. Instead, they can now find us wandering around their villages, trying to eat the thatch on their cottage roofs, and using their Post Offices to transfer money back to our poor, PlayStation-owning families, and opening Consoleski Skleps that sell weird sausages.
Of course, it would've been lovely if there was some way in EVE: Valkyrie to organise players into teams of PC or PS players, and pit them against one another. We could finally decide things one way or another, like some sort of historic peasant revolt.
Alas, there's no way to tell whether you're shooting at one of your own. The important message here? Once we're strapped into billions of dollars worth of death-spewing space technology, there's no way to tell one person from another...
Last night I went to my step-daughter's school for her sixth form information evening. Inevitably, she's worried about getting the grades she needs to do the A Levels she wants, because - y'know - that's what happens. It's important to place enough pressure on children so that they break.
As we left, I reassured her that I did pretty badly in my O Levels, leaving school with just four measly pass grades, and a U in Geography, because I'd chosen to play video games rather than revise... and yet... and yet, here I am in 2016AD - the owner of an actual virtual reality headset.
That's literally what I thought, and I wasn't trying to be funny. For all my carping and crowing and moaning and naysaying about VR over the past couple of years, I finally own a proper VR headset, thanks to Sony's almost-affordable new PS4 add-on... And I think I love it. It feels like the future. Like owning a jetpack, or a machine which 3D prints small dogs, or a big, bronze, chair with LEDs in the armrests, or something.
However, this isn't a review of the PSVR's games; those are on the way. This is a review of the hardware, of the very idea of PSVR. And despite everything, despite all my resistance to VR, it's a very good idea indeed.
And like many of the best ideas - hen parties, drinking from an un-flushed toilet, licking a football stadium seat for a bet - it also made me feel sick.
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