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Technology: Games | 

Sharing joysticks: how video games are opening up to LGBT themes

Once confined to cameo roles, gay characters are now edging into the video game spotlight. Is the community ready and what can developers do to help?On the screen we see two combat-hardened soldiers, men who have fought alongside each other, who have become comrades and friends, and who are now lovers. The moments in which the two finally open up to each other and admit their feelings are pla

Call of Duty and the explosive rise of pro-gaming: 'This isn't a niche movement any more' video

In March, the Call of Duty World Championships brought together 32 teams from around the world to compete for a prize pot of $1m all streamed to an ever-growing global audience of fanatical spectators. Here we meet the players, sponsors, coaches, parents and pundits determined to bring e-sports into the mainstream Read Keith Stuart on Call of Duty v the planet Continue reading...

Ethical gaming: can video games be a force for good?

The online Games for Change Festival is linking with the Tribeca Film Festival to promote peace and creativityA decade ago Asi Burak developed a video game designed to encourage opposing parties in the Israel-Palestine dispute over land to better understand even empathise with each other's point of view. That conflict may be no closer to a resolution, but the concept that interactive games can

Kinect Sports Rivals review going through the motions

Inconsistent Kinect controls dampen the fun once again in this latest attempt to compete with the masterful Wii SportsThe image has become an archetype of modern video-game marketing. A grinning, pan-generational family, arms flailing as they enjoy the latest motion-control game in their large, well-lit living space. Its an easy cliche to notice, but back when Wii Sports enchanted the masses

Call of Duty World Championship 2014: how online gaming is becoming a spectator sport

Call of Duty players will compete in the US this weekend for a prize pool of $1m. Other games offer even more and can draw in more than 30m viewers. Are online games tournaments on their way to becoming arena-filling sports events?The stands are empty; the pitch, still sodden and scarred from recent international rugby union clashes, is unused. Twickenham stadium in south London has hosted many

How to get into the games industry an insiders' guide

From bedroom coders to 200-strong teams with multimillion-dollar budgets there is a vast array of opportunities in the video game industry. We ask 15 insiders about the best ways inAt this years Bafta video game awards, one of the most telling moments was when Dr Who producer Steven Moffat took to the stage and declared [Games] are going to own the future. I am here chiefly to crawl to my new

Chatterbox: Tuesday

The place to talk about games and other things that matterIt's Tuesday. Continue reading...

20 best iPhone and iPad apps and games this week

One Born Every Minute, Trials Frontier, British Newspaper Archive, Family Guy, Carousel, Sequence by Incident and moreIt's time for our weekly roundup of the best new iPhone and iPad apps and games to have emerged on Apple's App Store.This week's selection includes pregnancy tracking, vintage newspaper clippings, motorcycle racing, Family Guy, wind-up knights and Embarrassing Bodies. Cont

20 best Android apps and games this week

Mailbox, Carousel, The Walking Dead, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, TaskRabbit, Impossible Road, FarFaria and moreIt's time for our weekly roundup of the best new Android apps and games to have emerged on the Google Play store.This week's selection includes helpful email tools, ravenous zombies, cleaner bookings, fitness apps, Family Guy and digital books for kids, among others. Continu

Chatterbox: Monday

The place to talk about games and other things that matterIt's Monday. Continue reading...

Boris Johnson gets Flappy Bird tribute with Flappy Mayor game

'Tap tap tap tap to make the mayor flap around a lot! (Like his day job)' suggests iPhone and iPad appThe last time London mayor Boris Johnson took to the skies, he was left dangling. Perhaps he should have flapped his arms a bit more. Now he has the chance.Johnson is the star of the latest Flappy Bird clone game, Flappy Mayor, released this week for iPhone and iPad, putting Boris alongsid

Kinect Sports Rivals review pretty, if a bit overwhelming

Xbox One, Microsoft, cert: 7Simplified versions of six sports are played out against blue skies, brashness and bellowingMotion control systems all need a killer app to prove their worth, so it's unsurprising that Microsoft are looking to _Sports Rivals _to step up for Xbox One. But while it makes a decent fist of ensuring that lurching about in front of the telly is fun, it's not there quite y

Strike Suit Zero review a demanding space combat adventure

A Battlestar Galactica-tinged space shooter has a limited range of missions, but plenty of difficultySpace combat games used to be a hugely popular genre, but they've drifted into the abyss of late. _Strike Suit_, originally a Kickstarter-funded PC title, sets out to bring back the glory days amid the stars. Wearing its influences heavily right down to the _Battlestar Galactica_-infused backing

Invizimals: The Alliance; Invizimals: The Lost Kingdom review - high production values

This enjoyable double bill makes extensive use of Vita's touch screen, microphone and camera and watch out for the forthcoming TV showA double bill of sorts sees _The Alliance _encouraging children to run around with the Vita camera to find colours, surfaces and sounds that unlock creatures within the game, while the more sedentary, but no less involving, _The Lost Kingdom _presents a platform

From YouTube to Vice 10 trends that are changing how we watch TV

Technology is set to transform viewing habits, whether it's Twitter's 'social soundtrack' or letting the viewer become the commissionerThe MIPTV conference in Cannes is where the television industry gathers to buy and sell shows, while debating the changing attitudes of broadcasters and producers, the shifting habits of viewers and the disruption coming from new technologies. This year's show w

This week's games news

Kinect Sports Rivals | Goat Simulator | Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends | Titanfall | The Elder Scrolls OnlineGames currently on release include Kinect Sports Rivals (Xbox One), a set of futuristic sports games you repeatedly fail to control by waving limbs around, demonstrating how appalling Microsoft's motion-sensing system is; the much-anticipated Goat Simulator (PC) puts you in the clove

This week's new games

Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Episode Two | Surgeon Simulator | Advance WarsNow that Ken Levine the creative force behind the Bioshock series has closed the studio that made it, this is the franchise's swansong. In it you play former sidekick Elizabeth, who isn't quite as handy with guns as hero Booker DeWitt, making stealth and smacking enemies over the head from behind your best options. N

Science fiction needs to reflect that the future is queer

Most science fiction still sticks to straight story lines. It's time the genre explored fluid gender identity and LGBT themesI spent most of my youth being told to get a haircut. As a boy of slight build who usually had hair down around my shoulders, I looked a bit too much like a girl for the comfort of the home counties. Society gets angry when gender roles are blurred, precisely because thos

Chatterbox: Friday

The place to talk about games and other things that matterIt's Friday. Continue reading...

Chatterbox: Thursday

The place to talk about games and other things that matterIt's Thursday. Continue reading...

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes fails to portray sexual violence meaningfully

Blogger Ria Jenkins on the depiction of sexual assault in Konami's stealth adventure_Trigger warning: discussion of rape and sexual violence__Spoilers for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes_ Continue reading...

Last of Us remaster 'confirmed for PlayStation 4

A hastily removed banner ad on the Sony Entertainment Network site suggests that last year's post-apocalyptic smash hit is coming to PS4It's been rumoured for months, of course, but now it seems Sony has let the post-apocalyptic cat out of the fungus-covered bag: Naughty Dog's critically acclaimed action adventure seems bound for PlayStation 4.A banner ad momentarily placed on the Sony Ent

YouTube star Stampylonghead launching new education channel

British Minecraft gamer Joseph Garrett announces plans with multi-channel network Maker StudiosBritish gamer Joseph Garrett's Stampylonghead YouTube channel has 2.3m subscribers and 845m total views, fuelled by an audience of children tuning in to the Minecraft videos he hosts as a virtual cat named Stampy. In February alone, the channel generated 159.3m views 50m more than One Direction.N

Chatterbox: Wednesday

The place to talk about games and other things that matterIt's Wednesday. Continue reading...

Six of the best Celebrity gaming cameos

Sarah Palin stars alongside Barack Obama and Phil Collins stars as himself in a GTA:III spin-off Kitbag Pixel perfectA posthumous appearance in a goliath of casual gaming might not have seemed the most obvious direction for Warhol's legacy, but the pop art pioneer was a devotee of computing. Just before his death, he embraced the game-centric Amiga as an artistic tool, becoming one of many to

Bruce Lee, UFC and why the martial arts star is a video game hero

EA has announced that Bruce Lee will be a playable character in its forthcoming UFC sim. But the movie icon has always influenced action game designThe image, of course, is instantly recognisable. There he is on screen, in that familiar jumping stance, his face beneath a bowl of black hair, his shorts in that classic combination of yellow and black. This is Bruce Lee, the martial arts legend,

Call of Duty v the planet: inside the world of competitive gaming

The Call of Duty World Finals just saw 32 teams competing for a prize fund of $1m. This is just part of a revolution that will change the way we think about video games and spectator sport On a rooftop in Downtown LA, eight young men are preparing to fight each other for $400,000. There are hundreds of people gathered around watching, and many thousands more will tune in via an online video f

Video game audio: why the sound of the battle always lingers

Sound is the underestimated but vital element of computer game designThe last few years I've done a lot of skinning animals. Usually combined with picking flowers, strangely, since this kind of wildlife survivalism has featured in a glut of games since the start of the decade. But the only visceral memory I have of it is from _Red Dead Redemption_. And this is because of the sound effect. _Far

Yoshi's New Island review 'disappointingly simplistic'

3DS, Nintendo; cert 3Sweet hand-drawn aesthetic and cute Yoshi sounds, but lacks any challengeAn offshoot of the_ Mario_ series, the first Yoshi's Island game came out for the SNES in 1995. A follow-up appeared on the DS in 2006, and this third game is exclusively for the 3DS. Like the Mario games, these are platformers, but rather than the plumber it's several of the colourful dinosaur Yoshis

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes review 'a promise of what to expect from Phantom Pain'

PS4, Konami; cert 18Impressive range of options and an effective political statement, but this is really still just a demoPart of the long _Metal__ __Gear_ series of stealth games, _Ground Zeroes_ belongs to the prequel sub-series whose events take place before the original _Metal Gear_ and which star Naked Snake (otherwise known as Big Boss). Around half the price of a full game, this is tech

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