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Extra Credits: EC Fund Update

With so many platforms and the influx of new funding sources, Indie game development is looking like a surer bet than it ever has. However, as the guys at Extra Credits repeatedly point out in this video, once you actually attempt it, you might have to temper your expectations.

Extra Credits: EC Fund Update

Armchair Analysis: The correction period continues

Prototype 2 Screenshot

Between Sega Europe's painful restructuring and Activision's dismantling of Radical Entertainment, this past week has been another one of those weeks that we'd rather forget. It's always unfortunate when people lose their jobs, and downsizing doesn't often instill confidence that the affected industry is moving in the right direction. These moves are a continuation of the state of correction that the video game industry is in—especially in the console sector.

Extra Credits: ARGs, Part 2—Augmented Reality Games

Extra Credit now examines the Augmented Reality Game genre. This genre appears to be the furthest out of reach given the technological requirements and costs needed to create seamless experiences. Should someone get their head around those limitations—and I guess wearable technology becomes a thing—it has great potential to blur the line between gaming and the real world.

Extra Credits: ARGs, Part 2—Augmented Reality Games

Extra Credits: ARGs, Part 1—Alternate Reality Games

Alternate Reality Games and Augmented Reality Games both fall under the acronym of ARG, but are actually quite different. Extra Credit takes a quick look at the Alternate Reality Game half of that genre of games—and yes you can argue that they are games. Perhaps it is because they are unfamiliar to the public and save for a few great examples like Microsoft/Bungie's I Love Bees or Electronic Arts' Majestic, they have been largely untouched by many in the games industry.

Extra Credits: ARGs, Part 1--Alternate Reality Games

Extra Credits: Crowdfunding

Extra Credit looks at the latest gaming trend: crowdfunding. It's not quite a household term but going by Twitter, press releases and gaming news coverage in general, it's getting there. Crowdfunding takes money from ordinary people in exchange for, say, a copy of the game or seeing a digital version of that person somewhere in the game. Right now Kickstarter is the company on everyone's lips but it isn't the only game in town. IndieGoGo, RocketHub, ulule and the newly formed Gambitious are all out there trying to help someone create that sequel to TIE Fighter or Star Tropics.

Extra Credits: Crowdfunding

A night on Valak Mountain

Xenoblade Chronicles Screenshot

The almost universally laudatory critical reaction to Xenoblade Chronicles has heaped ambitious praise on the project. Not content to appreciate Xenoblade's design on its own merits, many critics have asserted that it points the way towards "saving" the JRPG. There are good reasons to be dubious of this assertion. For the moment, though, I want to focus on something Xenoblade gets right, and the best way to do it is by focusing on something it gets very wrong: Valak Mountain.

Extra Credits: Harassment

Most who have dared venture online with a microphone and an ear-piece can attest to just how awful things are out there. Maybe it has always been that way, but is only noticeable now with the accessibility of the Internet and the explosion of online gaming. Whatever the reason, it is clear that we need a solution because it has gotten pretty ugly. It's not just dumb kids being dumb kids, its adults (mostly male) that believe an Internet connection gives them the right to be horrible human beings.

The guys at Extra Credit have suggested an interesting solution to the problem and one that I'd like to see implemented in some form by a Microsoft, Blizzard or whomever runs an online gaming service or game where all sorts of horrible interactions are known to occur. Kudos to Extra Credits for doing this episode.

Parental discretion is advised!

Extra Credits: Harassment

To clear the crowded sky

Mass Effect 3 Screenshot

Early on, Mass Effect establishes that the Citadel Council forced humanity to establish colonies in dangerous parts of the galaxy, then refused to offer aid when those colonies were inevitably attacked. The existing power structure is only interested in humanity's ability to serve as a buffer against its enemies, not in helping us thrive. Despite all this, humans get a comparatively sweet deal.

Extra Credits: Kinect Disconnect

Uncanny valley? Kinesthetic projection? The guys at Extra Credits break down what's wrong with Microsoft's Kinect.

Extra Credits: Kinect Disconnect

Fear and need

I Am Alive Screenshot

I Am Alive clearly wants to be a serious, adult take on post-apocalyptic survival, and in some respects it is. Unfortunately, the game's treatment of women, among other things, seems to devolve back to the attitudes of a teenaged boy. In I Am Alive, women are helpless objects to be fought over and protected by men.

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