It’s a sad fact of life that as we age, our cognitive skills decline. In particular, the “executive function” of our mind diminishes – this function is a key aspect of our memory, attention, perception, and problem solving skills. There may be help, however. Scientists from the University of Iowa are now claiming that by playing a specific video game, test subjects aged 50 and over were able to stop and even reverse the trend.
At CES in January, Microsoft Research teased its IllumiRoom
concept, which involves projecting an image around a TV screen to enhance video games with additional visuals. Unfortunately, the company didn't offer much info beyond a short video that briefly showed it in action. But the team behind the project recently showed up at the CHI 2013 conference in Paris with some more in-depth details about how Illumiroom will not only expand the game screen, but completely alter the appearance of your living room.
Playing a bit like a computer version of Lego, Mojang's Minecraft
– the darling of the indie game movement – has been an impressive success story. It soared to mainstream popularity as intrepid players proudly showcased their elaborate creations online. Its similarity to Lego didn't go unnoticed by the toy giant, and in 2012 kids of all ages could enjoy the game AFK with a licensed brick set
. The problem is, you'd need an awful lot of bricks to recreate what you can make in the game (for example, check out this version of Game of Thrones' King's Landing
), so that's where Printcraft – and the magic of 3D printing – enters the picture.
In a rare and brilliant move, Akihiro Hino (president of Japanese game developer Level-5) somehow convinced Studio Ghibli – Japan's most respected animation studio – to collaborate on a new video game. Even if Studio Ghibli's Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki has been a vocal critic of the medium (nixing the possibility of his films being adapted to game consoles), and was not directly involved with Level-5's Ni no Kuni
, it seems some of his magic still managed to rub off on it.
They say that one of the most effective ways of teaching someone a skill is to turn it into a game. Well, that’s just what a team at the University of California, San Diego have done with their CodeSpells video game – it teaches its players how to use the Java programming language.
, the third installment in what is now the BioShock
series, sees the return of Ken Levine to the helm. Along with one or two others, Levine is arguably the closest thing the video games industry has to an auteur. With metascores of 96 on both PC and Xbox 360, BioShock
is held up as the pinnacle of the current gen, and so it was inevitable, given Levine's return, that expectations for Infinite
would be sky high. It's fitting, then, that a city in the sky is the backdrop for the game's snaking narrative. Gizmag took a rocket ship to Columbia to find out if BioShock Infinite
could possibly live up to the highest of expectations.
In a move that brings back memories of the R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) that was available for the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Japanese hobbyist Izumi Ninagawa has simplified the controls of a modern fighting robot to work with a Famicom (8-bit NES) game pad – which has one of the most basic button configurations around. The NES-styled robot even competed in a robot boxing tournament earlier this year.
started as a project on Kickstarter to create an open-source, inexpensive, Android-based gaming console. In less than a year, it has graduated from crowdfunding pie in the sky to a whole new gaming ecosystem, and Ouya's founder, Julie Uhrman, now says she expects deals to be in place in the coming months that will also allow Ouya to function as a de facto set-top box.
The first Dead Space
game was something pretty special. Its setting of a deserted spaceship infested with seemingly endless hordes of "necromorph" human/alien mutations pushed the boundaries when it came to evoking a sense of isolation and foreboding, interspersed with periods of outright terror. The game was successful enough to warrant a fully fledged sequel along with numerous related titles. We join Isaac Clarke in his latest outing in Dead Space 3
. We looked at the game on Xbox 360.