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Insert Quarter: A Profile of the Video Game Archivists at the Library of Congress
Xbox Store Today: Volgarr the Viking
Most Recent: Vita
Insert Quarter is our showcase for some of the best and most interesting writing about video games on the Internet.
With more than 6,000 titles, the Library of Congress is home to one of the largest video game archives in the world. But the curation and management of the collection is in the hands of just four part-time employees. BuzzFeed’s Joseph Bernstein reached out to these four men to learn how the Library of Congress is attempting to preserve America’s gaming heritage and how much more still needs to be done:
No, the work of game copyrighting and archiving at our country’s signal institution for cultural preservation is not done by a dedicated full-time staff. Instead, it’s the passion project of a handful of archivists who want to be the new standard-bearers in the preservation of video games. Indeed, the state of video game collection at the Library is something of an expression of the liminal state of video games in American popular culture writ large. The Library recognizes the cultural importance of video games, but only devotes four people part-time to their archiving; Game companies insist that their products are the medium of the future, but don’t trust archives with their source code; Collectors sell their troves on Craigslist and eBay rather than considering donation.
Even to get to this point, though, has been a journey in and of itself.
You can read the rest of the article at BuzzFeed.
It’s another embarrassment of riches for the PlayStation Store this week as more than a dozen new games are now available to download across the PS3, PS4, and Vita. Let’s take a closer look…
- Lords of the Fallen (PS4) is a medieval hack and slash from Bandai Namco and City Interactive.
- KillAllZombies (PS4) is a twin-stick zombie shooter that can be affected by other players watching through Twitch.
- Costume Quest 2 (PS3, PS4) is a sequel to Double Fine’s Halloween-y RPG.
- NBA Live 15 (PS4) is the latest game in EA’s basketball simulation series.
- WWE 2K15 (PS3) is the first WWE wrestling game from 2K after THQ’s demise.
- The Unfinished Swan (PS4/Vita Cross-Buy) is Sony’s artistic paintbrush game, now available on the PS4 and Vita for the first time.
Sunset Overdrive, Insomniac’s wild hipsters vs mutants shooter, leads this week’s new release report. With no new Halo or Gears of War game in the pipeline, Microsoft is promoting Sunset Overdrive as one of the biggest Xbox One exclusives of the Fall. To that end, they have also teamed up with Insomniac to offer the Sunset Overdrive Xbox One System Bundle which will include the game itself and a snazzy all-white Xbox One.
Also available this week is WWE 2K15 (PS3, Xbox 360), the first game in the series fully produced by 2K Games; Lords of the Fallen (PS4, Xbox One), Bandai Namco’s attempt at entering the medieval hack and slash market; and NBA Live 15 (PS4, Xbox One), EA’s latest entry in their basketball simulation series.
More new releases from the upcoming week can be found after the break. (more…)
Analysts from ICO Partners recently reported that donations to video game projects on Kickstarter have seen a dramatic decline. They estimate that by the end of 2014, $27 million will have been pledged, compared to $58 million at the end of the previous year. A 50% reduction makes for grim reading if you are a game developer looking to launch a project, though it should be noted that 2014 is lacking in many of the big name campaigns that were launched in 2013.
Perhaps the bubble has already burst, or perhaps people have become pickier about which projects they participate in, disenfranchised by the multitude of disreputable characters who have tried time and again to launch projects with no aim of actually keeping their promises. As Evil As A Hobby discovered during their broad analysis back in January 2014, only one in three game projects launched between 2009 and 2012 delivered a finished product and accompanying rewards.
As I was finishing up this month’s edition of Kickstart This!, Boston-based Dejobaan Games reached their funding goal for Elegy For A Dead World, “a game about writing fiction,” according to the official description. It is awe-inspiring in its art design, offering a uniquely free reign in crafting the story of the game itself. Thankfully, there are more projects worthy of bringing to your attention. And that’s the point. There will always be great games begging to be made. If there is less money out there, it means less great games, but perhaps it will also add some quality control to a system untamed by accountability.
Unfortunately, the game’s deadline did not meet my own (although I did go on Twitter and rave about it). Thankfully, there are more projects worthy of bringing to your attention. And that’s the point. There will always be great games begging to be made. If there is less money out there, it means less great games, but perhaps it will also add some quality control to a system untamed by accountability.
We kick things off with side-scrolling puzzle shooter Red Cobra, survival adventure Impact Winter, and sci-fi survival horror Extract 237. After that, there is mech vombat MOBA Voxelfield, and last, but not least, The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça and Pizza Boy.
Yes, that last one is real. (more…)
It’s another full week for the PlayStation Store as more than a dozen games are now available to download across the PS3, PS4, and Vita through Sony’s digital storefront:
- The Legend of Korra (PS3, PS4) - Activision and Platinum Games have teamed up to release the first game based on the popular animated series.
- Just Dance 2015 (PS3, PS4) - Ubisoft’s popular dancing franchise is back for another encore. Now with even more Ariana Grande.
- Samurai Warriors 4 (PS3, PS4, Vita) - Koei Tecmo is cranking out a ton of new entries in their Warriors series and another one is now available for the PS3, PS4, and Vita.
- Shadow Warrior (PS4) - A reboot of the wild FPS from the 90s, now available on consoles for the first time.
- The Walking Dead Season 2 (PS4) - The second season of Telltale’s post-apocalyptic saga makes the leap to the PS4.
- F1 2014 (PS3) - Codemasters is back with another Formula One simulation.
Who doesn’t love the sweet, slick, retro style of Kickstarter darling Hyper Light Drifter? This 2D action RPG took the indie world by storm last year, ultimately collecting more than $640,000 from backers during its Kickstarter campaign. Watching the videos and seeing the magic unfold as developer Heart Machine met its goal, beat it, and then left it in the dust was a joyful experience. I got a chance to play Hyper Light Drifter at PAX East this year and the staff loved it so much we chose it for our PAXpocalpyse list. And now I’m getting the chance to play it early in my living room thanks to a backers-only beta. The PC beta was originally supposed to be available from October 3rd through the 5th, but after some “internal discussions, the team decided to extend the beta to the 31st. I couldn’t be happier, and I’ll admit – I’ve had a hard time putting it down. (more…)
After selling more than five million copies in its first week of availability, Bungie’s Destiny easily took the top spot as the best-selling game of September 2014. New releases ruled last month as The NPD Group’s latest report revealed that seven games cracked the top ten.
At #3, EA’s FIFA 15 challenged Destiny for the crown, but came up short. It was followed by Super Smash Bros. For 3DS (#4), Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (#5), NHL 15 (#6), The Sims 4 (#8), and Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (#9). The only holdovers were Madden NFL 15 (#2), Minecraft (#7), and Diablo III: Reaper of Souls (#10).
According to Joystiq, despite Destiny’s massive success, game industry sales only grew by 2% over September 2013. Of course, September 2013 featured the release of Grand Theft Auto V, a singularly special event, and downloadable titles are constantly eating into retail’s market share. But good luck getting The NPD Group to admit to that.
This months top ten can be found in a handy list format after the break. (more…)
It’s another big week for the PlayStation Store as more than a dozen new titles are now available to download on the PS4, PS3, and Vita.
Leading things off is Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (PS3), 2K’s tale of what happened between the first and second games in the series. With a new location (Pandora’s Moon) and a new developer (2K Australia), it might just make your PS4 feel a bit lonely for the next few weeks.
But speaking of the PS4, it is now home to plenty of scares and a little bit of whimsy. The scares are provided by the haunted mansion of Shinji Mikami’s The Evil Within (also available on the PS3) and the roving zombies of Telltale’s The Walking Dead. Come to think of it, the deadly Triad gangsters of United Front’s Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition are pretty scary too. To balance out all this blood and gore, you might like to know that PopCap’s adorable puzzle game, Peggle 2, was released for the PS4 this week as well.
Vita owners might like to know that Minecraft: PlayStation Vita Edition is finally available to download. Not only does the portable version of Mojang’s world-crafter include everything from the PlayStation 3 Edition, but it’s also a free download if you own it on the PS3.
Finally this week, if you love Duck Dynasty so much that you want to play a quickie tie-in game (also titled Duck Dynasty) on your PS3 or PS4, then Activision’s got you covered.
A complete list of this week’s new releases (including a few more that went unmentioned above) can be found after the break. And a full rundown of this week’s new game add-ons can be found at the PlayStation Blog. (more…)