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Stranded on a 16-bit island

As I write this, I'm in a tiny little town in middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma. My cell phone barely holds a signal. The sole television in the house is a 12-inch that only shows programs of a religious nature. All the food is vegan. Alcohol is prohibited. The lone internet connection is a dial-up through a computer that takes several seconds to display a word after it has been typed. Oh yeah, and videogame playing is expressly forbidden.

That's not Commander Shepard

There are tons of things I could discuss about Mass Effect, but the thing buzzing around my head today and for the last few days is that every time I see a picture or screenshot of the game, I wonder: "Who the hell's that?".

Defending Guitar Hero and Rock Band: Why there's nothing wrong with being a fake musician

Despite the enormous success and popularity of Guitar Hero and the recently released Rock Band, it seems that there is still a small but vocal group of cynics and naysayers who like to pop up in internet forums and belittle players for "wasting" their time on "fake" instruments when they could be learning the real thing. Here are three reasons why these criticisms are completely out of tune with reality.

5 practical tips for HDTV shopping

In just under two years, my much publicized and prized 37 inch Sceptre LCD HDTV died an unceremonious death. There were few warning signs and end was quick and final. I've since recovered from the ordeal by purchasing a 40 inch Samsung LCD and in the process of doing so I picked up some valuable lessons I'd like to share with our readers.

Super Mario Galaxy and Nintendo’s continuing critical dominance

The arrival of Super Mario Galaxy marks the continuation of one of gaming's most beloved franchises. It also happens to mark the extension of Nintendo's remarkable streak of critical supremacy. According to the review aggregator site Game Rankings, the top-rated game for each of the last three console generations appeared exclusively on a Nintendo machine. So what does this mean?

Contrasting Crysis and Call of Duty 4: Why emergent gamplay is the future

Two of the most acclaimed of this whole bunch are Crysis and Call of Duty 4. Both were hotly anticipated and both have been well-received by gamers. But I thought that these two games are an interesting contrast – both are first-person shooters, but represent two sharply contrasting design philosophies.

Videogame length and the question of quality versus quantity

For most players, videogames are regarded as consumable products, like cheeseburgers. For them, longer game translates to better value and (supposedly) better game. For me, this kind of thinking seems not only narrow, but bad for videogames.

Doom and gloom for PC gaming

You can hear the cries of doom and gloom miles away: PC gaming is dying, dead, on the way out, yesterday's news, whatever. But is it really? Because when I look at PC gaming, I see not only a growing market, but a place that is still the premier platform for videogames.

Move over, BioShock: there's a videogame that poses even greater moral challenges

BioShock has attracted a great deal of attention for its central moral question of whether or not to rescue or harvest the little sisters. But as powerful as this dilemma was, there's another game that has left me feeling far more morally drained.

Interview with Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade

Read interview with Jerry Holkins of Penny ArcadeGameCritics.com sits down with Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins to talk about what a score of 10 really means, getting folks together for gaming culture, and why senior citizens can't relate to new forms of art.
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