What Modern Gaming Can Learn From Left Behind: Eternal Forces

Categories: Gaming

Recently the trailer (Above) for the film adaptation of the Christian apocalyptic novel Left Behind was released. If you're somehow ignorant of one of the most famous bits of religious propaganda of the 20th century then know it's about how people who miss the Rapture will have to deal with an evil global force led by the Antichrist. All that really matters is that the movie is insane and stars Nicholas Cage, and that's something no one should miss.

It got me thinking about the Left Behind empire, and in doing so I picked up a copy of Left Behind: Eternal Forces for PC from Amazon for about $5 with shipping. Sure, it's from 2006, but so is my laptop so it fit like a glove.

In doing so, I found out that there's actually a lot modern gaming could learn from the game.

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Free Game Day: A Temple of Two Worlds

Categories: Gaming

It's Friday, and we know you're just going to play on the internet until it's time to leave work. Each week we'll be bringing you a free flash game to help the time pass!

Game: A Temple of Two Worlds
Genre: Interactive Story
Made By: StormAlligator
Play at: Kongregate http://www.kongregate.com/games/StormAlligator/a-temple-of-two-worlds
Rating: 3 out of 5

I felt the need for something a bit more cerebral this week, so I wandered into the retro interactive story adventure that is A Temple of Two Worlds. Simplistic, but beautiful, it's a nice bit of fresh air for the gamer looking for a bit of lighthearted otherworldliness.

You star as Pauline, an archeologist who has spent most of her life studying a temple that the rest of her field finds useless. She finally agrees to join her friend Gena on another project that Gena feels is more worthy of her expertise and time, but the years away lead Pauline to a deep anxiety over the temple. Upon returning she noticed that it appears to be fading away from reality, and she rushes headlong into an adventure of parallel worlds.

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5 Best Memorials in World of Warcraft

Categories: Gaming

The difference between games like World of Warcraft and non MMORPGs is that it is literally a created world full of real people. Granted they're running around pretending to be axe-wielding dwarves, but most people in life are running around pretending to be adults in the first place so it's not a real stretch. The point is, real relationships are forged within the context of the game.

However, unlike a game real life dozen have an autosave and people die leaving the virtual world forever in the wake of a real life tragedy. Well, the people at Blizzard have hearts the size of a launch day server outage, and sometimes they prove it by creating memorials to the beloved dead within their virtual world.

Robin Williams
The sudden and unexpected suicide of beloved comedian and actor Robin Williams caught everyone by surprise. Gamers felt it keenly, as Williams and his daughter Zelda had always been avid supporters of the advancement of electronic whimsy. Williams was an avid WoW player on the Mannoroth server, and fans asked Blizzard to recognize him. Players in beta testing of the Warlords of Draenor has reported finding a genie who boasts of his "phenomenal cosmic power", as well as an egg with machinery referencing Mork and Mindy and other nods to Mrs. Doubtfire and Toys. Look for a full report when the expansion opens to the public on November 13.

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Video Game High School Releases trailer for Third/Final Season

In a pleasant surprise the trailer for the last season of the acclaimed web series Video Game High School hit the web this month.

Last season saw the series blossom into full primetime TV format at a time when web series and streaming content are all finding a new kind of freedom in the ability to not adhere to thirty-minute or hour templates. It was a bold move that could have done some real damaged to VGHS, but ultimately the show came out with a strong second act leading us to an explosive conclusion.

The trailer promises us back all of our old cast, with increasing focus given to Dean Calhoun. Though mostly a background character early on in the series, Harley Morenstein has increasingly clawed his way to star billing through his combination of classic old school gamer misanthropy and occasional hints at a troubled, but deeply caring personality underneath all of it.

Brian D (Josh Blaylock), Jenny Matrix (Johanna Braddy), Ted Wong Jimmy Wong), and Ki Swan (Ellary Porterfield) are still suffering from the lines that began to divide them last season as they each pursue their separate paths and find themselves sin competition. I got to tell you, watching the break-up of the bromance between Brian and Ted was hard. Sure, it's nice to see Ted come into his own outside the shadow of his wunderkind best friend, but judging from the upcoming action he's probably going to need Brian at his back.

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Free Game Day: Severe Road

Categories: Gaming

It's Friday, and we know you're just going to play on the Internet until it's time to leave work. Each week we'll be bringing you a free flash game to help the time pass!

Game: Severe Rpad
Genre: Run and Gun
Made By: Deqaf Studio
Play at: Armor Games
Rating: 3 out of 5

This week I felt the need for a little more violence, and Severe Road was right up my alley. In it, you play a hard-chinned mercenary who has been hired to protect the cargo on a train. You're so damned hardcore that you actually shoot the other guy who was hired to help you right at the beginning in order to collect the bigger bounty yourself.

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Reviews for the Lazy Gamer: Shadowgate

Categories: Gaming

Game: Shadowgate

Platform: PC, Mac, iOS, Android

Publisher/Developer: Zojoi

Genre: Point and Click

Describe This Game in Three Words: It is Beuatiful

Score: 7 out of 10

Synopsis: You are a young warrior charged by the wizard Lakmir to enter the living castle Shadowgate in order to stop an evil sorcerer who hopes to raise a behemoth from Hell to help him rule the world. Except now you have a sarcastic skull as your helper guide.

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Free Game Day: Kick the Critter

Categories: Gaming

It's Friday, and we know you're just going to play on the internet until it's time to leave work. Each week we'll be bringing you a free flash game to help the time pass!

Game: Kick the Critter
Genre: Distance
Made By: Simon "Lachhh" Lachance
Play at: Armor Games
Rating: 3 out of 5

I'm a huge fan of distance games. If you've never played the genre, you basically have an object and your goal is to hurl it as far as possible. In between hurls you upgrade your throwing mechanism, what you're throwing, or the environment you throw it through. It's pretty simple, and most games follow the formula rather unremarkably.

Kick the Critter is more ambitious than most, though. First of all, it's got kind of a cute story to it and a hell of a lot of personality. We go back to the time of the Great Flood, and Noah has gathered his menagerie. He's letting everyone on including alien grays and dragons, but when the critter asks for a seat Noah is all like "How 'Bout no LOL". Then she speeds off like the ark is a jet ski.

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Anita's Irony: Every Hater Proves Anita Sarkeesian Right

Categories: Gaming

Anita Sarkeesian
This week Anita Sarkeesian released yet another installment of her Tropes vs. Women series of videos detailing how women are portrayed in gaming and why exactly it's a problem that needs to change. In response, the internet did what the internet usually does and hurled insults and threats so brutal and specific that Sarkeesian actually left her home to stay with friends just to be safe.

This harassment of Sarkeesian has been going on from the day she first launched a Kickstarter campaign for her series and has continued unabated. It's given birth to a Law of the Internet known as Anita's Irony that states, "Online discussion of sexism or misogyny quickly results in disproportionate displays of sexism and misogyny."

In other words, literally every hateful comment and harassment campaign proves Sarkeesian right time and time again.

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How Video Games Are Fighting Mental Illness

Categories: Gaming

Alice: The Madness Returns
Typically, video games fight mental illness with knives and steampunk, but there may be a better way.
There are lots of people that will tell you that video games rot the mind and encourage violent and deranged behavior. Most of these will focus on titles like the Grand Theft Auto, or on the objectification of women in mainstream games that reinforces rape culture, or simply remark that actively participating in what is often brightly colored serial murder can't be mentally healthy and might be addictive.

The jury is still out on the subject, but the bright side is that video games are starting to make in-roads as a tool for helping combat mental illness. Sometimes in very interesting and innovative ways.

The first is through awareness. The recent suicide of Robin Williams and the sometimes callous and cruel remarks from observers should be all the proof we need that depression is still poorly understood by much of the general population. To say nothing of diseases like obsessive compulsive disorder and schizophrenia.

Doris C. Rusch of DePaul University thinks video games can change that. After all, it's an art form that is unique because it forces the player to participate rather than simply watch or experience the production. She's put together several games that replicate the symptoms of severe mental illness in order to try and share those experiences with the general population through the metaphor of a game.

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Free Game Day: Royal Warfare

Categories: Gaming

It's Friday, and we know you're just going to play on the Internet until it's time to leave work. Each week we'll be bringing you a free flash game to help the time pass!

Game: Royal Warfare
Genre: Battle Strategy
Made By: Idengames
Play at: Armor Games
Rating: 3 out of 5

Set in a somewhat medieval European fantasy land, suddenly zombies and skeletons are everywhere. However, the feudal lords decide that they will make a perfect slave class rather than a burning them to ash as God usually intends these things to go. Things go on great for a few years, but then the dead revolt and now an army of them marches across the world laying waste. You are one of the last kingdoms left that can resist the horde.

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