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science

By on May 2, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup after our brief hiatus! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of 2014′s lack of 20nm process GPUs, Microsoft Research’s motion sensing keyboard prototype, and the brain-stimulating Halo.

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et_extra_terrestrial

By on May 1, 2014 at 10:16 am

James’ article earlier this week about the problems with Steam and quality control brought back memories of the Video Games Crash of 1983. Well, whatever repressed memories I have are probably pooping in a crib, but the internet helps me imagine: An overconfident Atari abandoned quality control, leading to the refusal of gamers to purchase such buggy delights as E.T. the Extra Terrestrial and a really shoddy Pac-Man port. The result: A total crash of the console gaming market, allowing PCs to take their rightful, leading place (for a while).

Okay, so it wasn’t a bad outcome at all. I dunno why everyone talks ill of it. But the crash did highlight one other thing: That much of the gaming industry was built by lawyers. Today we’ll look at how, so you’ll be able to answer the question of “How the games industry grew up”. It might arise on a date.

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guns_2

By on April 23, 2014 at 7:39 pm

I hate guns. Hate them. I often sit around thinking about how America has 99 problems and the gun is a big one. They know it, too. Obama wants to take those guns away, just ask the internet. The people cling to their grammatically unsound Constitution and cry, “How will we protect our homes tho Bamms?” It’s hard not to sit there and go, “Fair call. If there’s a home intruder, all bets are off – but why does it need to be a lethal killing stick? Why not replace everyone’s guns with phasers set to ‘stun’?” They’re bad, don’t like ‘em. I play a lot of shooters though, and I love shooters. I love shooting all them things. Uh?

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The Secret World

By on April 17, 2014 at 8:15 pm

This April Fool’s Day, Funcom released the mankini into The Secret World. Several days later, those who bought it were emailed that it was just an April Fool’s joke. Every purchaser was refunded in Funcom shop points, and the mankini removed from their characters.

This provoked considerable outrage among the players. I mean, what the hell, Funcom. Leaving aside the “artistic merits” of the mankini (though anything is better than rainbow space lasers), this was illegal. You don’t just encourage someone to buy something, take it away, and then refund with a completely different currency they may have no use for after the incentive has gone away. That’s bait and switch.

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Red Faction

By on April 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Sometimes games can start some hell realtalk. Out of nowhere, bananas, you’re committing some heinous act and what makes it feel so heinous is that only the implication of it maybe happening was there. I’m not talking the DIY depravity of Grand Theft Auto. That is clearly an open invitation to do bad things on a massive scale, and this in some way dilutes the impact of it. You know why you’re there. You came to party. What about when you’re just there? First-person shooters make this weird personal phenomenon all the more personal, because hey, you’re you, not the back of someone else’s head or the top of it.

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Bad at Aiming

By on April 9, 2014 at 8:34 pm

I was always bad at my job, so it’s lucky I hired myself. Technically no one gets hired out here on the field. We’re all just sort of smashed together and asked to come in on Sunday to explode things. Sundays are just like every other day, which makes this job a pretty simple one. A smoking monkey could do it. Sometimes, hey, $moking_Monkey is actually doing it. He’s killing everyone. Dead-eye shot from a lot of paces. There’s no way he’s being made redundant.

Not that anyone gets made redundant unless they realise, “I’m redundant.” I have just realised this.

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Barrett M98B

By on April 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Games publishers pay all sorts of people to bring you the games you play. More than just developers and marketers, publishers have to budget in payments to musicians, payments to arms manufacturers, payments to celebrities, and even payments to porn stars (if your game is Saints Row 4).

We talk product placement advertising as if it’s some sort of bad thing, but just about everything you’ll see in game is owned by someone—and often that someone is not the developer or publisher. And often they demand money. And often they insist on how their property can be used in the game. Today we’ll be looking at where your money goes when you buy a game, and how it influences what you see and hear when you start playing.

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Staying Up Late

By on April 2, 2014 at 5:51 pm

I’ve decided to start sleeping on the gross old couch in the lounge room because a) Emergent alcoholic, and b) Closer to gaming systems. What this means is that sleep, ha, sleep. Sleep doesn’t happen anymore. And so I have become a sparkly vampire like mother always suspected I would, and with these unconventional new sleeping patterns comes a new way of experiencing my git-yer-gun online multiplayer shenanigans. A time to kill, sure, but depending on what time it is that might be easier said than done.

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NVIDIA NVLink

By on March 28, 2014 at 10:56 am

Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of Nvidia’s upcoming NVLink GPU/CPU bus tech, Nielsen’s use of Twitter to further gauge TV ratings, and software that can record a melody with any instrument from little more than a hummed tune.

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Bear Simulator

By on March 26, 2014 at 2:53 pm

You know what I think is cool, is when something plays itself out. I don’t think it’s cool at the time, though. No one does. I mean, no one wants to sit there playing dumb games with no imagination. That’s bad. The good part is when everyone starts turning their backs on boredom, when there is a demonstrable cultural shift away from a status quo. The thing that played out and got boring suddenly realises it has to get interesting. In its blind animal panic, sometimes it will overcompensate and literally became a panicking blind animal.

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Dark Souls

By on March 25, 2014 at 9:45 am

Before I begin, I feel I should explain how story and plot works in Dark Souls, and how the community fits into all of this. The main complaint by the general user of Dark Souls seems to be that the plot is thin and makes no sense. It sounds like a cop-out, but if that is how it comes off then I think the entire point of the game has been lost on the user. I do not have the direct translated quote, but the director of Dark Souls said in an interview once that he wanted the story of his game to mirror the bonfires present in-game, for it to be discussed, discovered, explored and retold in the way that one would tell stories of their travels, or of travels told to them, around a campfire.

Amazingly, Dark Souls has ended up gathering and collecting the most incredible bunch of thinkers and storytellers any community could hope to have. The quality of discussion and debate that has gone on in YouTube comments, Reddit threads, forum posts, IRC channels, Facebook groups, in-person and across the globe is second to none. You know something is truly unique when it spawns intelligent and thoughtful dialogue from the comments of YouTube users!

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South Park: The Stick of Truth

By on March 24, 2014 at 1:43 pm

On Thursday I thought we could all have a nice, friendly chat about whether there’s a parallel between censorship issues in gaming , and the laws restricting guns. After all, Fox News sure likes to link the two together, and gamers need to be able to engage in these debates thrust upon us. What I didn’t anticipate was how emotive the issue would be, and I apologise. I’m not even pro gun—don’t own a gun, don’t have the intention to, and don’t believe that guns are the answer to violence. Like Leliana, I like bows.

But I am concerned that existing laws will not be enough once technology evolves. Laws should always be reviewed, and questioned. They should never be mere appeasement. Always reviewed to ensure they were not the case of politicians taking advantage of people’s emotions, and constantly questioned for objectivity.

So today’s question is whether gaming censorship laws were political appeasement, or whether they’re actually effective. To answer this question, we need to examine what the objective of the laws is, how they pursue this objective, and whether, in the words of one commentator “Some law is no better than no law.”

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Big Bang

By on March 21, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of the first direct evidence of the Big Bang, Sony’s Project Morpheus virtual reality headset, and Android Wear, Google’s upcoming wearable tech OS.

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The Pirate Bay logo

By on March 14, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of Google’s appeal to the government to improve content availability in Australia, Intel’s new super-fast optical cabling, and a ridiculous new concept coming to the wearable technology market.

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BioShock Infinite

By on March 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Here at games.on.net we know exactly what it’s like to have to suffer under the Australia Tax, and so we’ve created this weekly segment that rounds up some of the best bargains from across the internet. Today it’s on Thursday, but it’s usually on Wednesday. We apologise for the inconvenience!

In this week’s issue, Steam is holding a crazy 24-hour BAFTA sale, and there are awesome bargains at Green Man and on the Humble Store.

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No Day'z Later

By on March 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm

Forgive my cynicism (or don’t) but I’m not into Kickstarter’s vibe at all and, until this week, I couldn’t really figure out why. It was always an inkling; a something-something about every person and their dog/cat/cat-dog suddenly being given an elevated platform with which to beg for money that, I thought, was pretty galling on a mysterious level. Then I saw some class-A titanium rip-off derp like No Day’z Later in the queue for internet Centrelink and I realised: Yeah. That’s why.

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Windows 8.1

By on March 7, 2014 at 8:19 am

Welcome to the Friday Tech Roundup! Contained herein is your weekly dose of some of the best tech news from across the Internet, rounded up for your edification and entertainment. Read on for all the details of a possible free version of Windows, Razer’s Game Booster utility, and Israel’s laser-based missile defence system.

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Russian Troops in the Crimea

By on March 6, 2014 at 10:14 am

Never mind the threat of all-out war, could we make a video game out of the Ukraine crisis? I mean this in the most innocent way possible, as we both know that real lives are at stake. However, Ukraine is demonstrating many rules of war that games often ignore.

Ukraine is tense. Neither side wants to fire the first shot. Both are claiming moral and legal legitimacy. This is real high stakes conflict, where actions are measured, considered. The slightest mistake could set off a powder keg.

Few games portray this drama.

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