Ubisoft Re-imagines Fairytale RPG with Child of Light

Categories: Video games

Take that!

For me, video games have always been about the epic experience. Games like Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Kingdom of Hearts definitely molded the the RPG and action/adventure genres with their production packages that infused engaging story lines and moving music with stunning imagery. Ubisoft announced, April 9, partnerships with Cirque du Soleil Media™ and the singer and pianist Coeur de Pirate to take epic proportions to the next level with the new title, Child of Light.

While I'm in my late 20s and more drawn to Call of Duty, the Batman Arkham series, or Assassin's Creed and the like, this game looks awesome.

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If You Like Video Games, You Should Go To This Event

The Alameda Music Project
Flier for Serenade at the Arcade

Remember when we told you about The String Arcade -- the string quartet that's releasing a CD entirely made up of orchestral covers of video game songs?

Well, the album is finished, and they're throwing an epic release party to celebrate.

Called "A Serenade at the Arcade," the party will take place at Rhythmix Cultural Works in Alameda from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on March 7. It will feature several rooms with arcade and console games, as well as live performances from the quartet playing the music from the CD, from video games such as Tron, Minecraft, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Also performing will be Steve Kirk and Nils Frykdahl, whose voices you may have heard on the soundtrack of the game Scurvy Scallywags.

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Video Game Music Gets a String
Quartet Makeover

Categories: Video games

The String Arcade

Even if you haven't played Mario Brothers in years, you likely remember the music just as much as the images -- you can hear the music now, can't you?

Video game music composer Dren McDonald creates these electronic sounds for various games, but it was his passion for other music, specifically string music, that got him wondering -- "What music would I make right now, if I could make anything?"

During the time he was debating this question, an opportunity to help fundraise for the Alameda Music Project -- an after-school music program -- emerged. But he knew a CD of him playing string quartet music wasn't going to sell.

McDonald says, "I started listening closely to some of my favorite game music from my youth (Altered Beast, Legend of Zelda, Galaga) and wondered how those might sound if arranged for string quartet."

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SF State Students Pitch Social-Justice Video Game to CEOs and Politicians

Categories: Video games

Nicu Listana, co-creator of new game Founder's Quest, strikes a pose in D.C.

Social justice and gaming don't seem to have too much in common. In fact, we're willing to venture that if placed in a Venn diagram, the overlap would be a small sliver between those circles.

But the first ever ESA LOFT Video Game Innovation fellowship was poised to change all that. Pseudo youngsters ages 14-25 were asked to create video games that could solve problems within their communities. The winners each got $1,000 to develop their concept and a trip to Washington D.C. to hobnob with political movers and shakers.

We caught up with San Francisco residents who are part of this fellowship, Nicu Listana and John Funtanilla, in the first wake of their White House foray this afternoon.

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Super Mario Brothers Gets HTML5 Makeover, Play the Classic Video Game for Free

Categories: Video games

So we meet again

Cancel all your plans for tonight -- go ahead and cancel your plans for tomorrow too. You're going to be playing Super Mario until you get severe hand cramps.

Recently released Full Screen Mario is a complete remake of the 1985 Super Mario Brothers game, plus it contains "literally millions of possible random maps." And the best part? It's free.

That actually may not be the best part if you can program HTML5, because there's the option to create a level. That's right, a new level of mushrooms and coins designed by you.

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Old-School Arcade Games on Demand: How the Sharing Economy Might Save Pac-Man and Donkey Kong

Categories: Video games

Even after Nintendo and Atari put home video game consoles on the market and induced gamers of the '80s and '90s to barricade themselves in their bedrooms, a few diehard arcade operators still did things the old way. And their die-hard fans continued pumping quarters into the refrigerator-sized machines, ensuring that Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac-Man would still have a place at the local movie theater or bowling alley. Home systems put a major hurt on the arcades, and then smartphones came along and ate up a few more lives. Suddenly, everyone had Angry Birds right at the tips of their fingertips, and many gaming companies doled out their apps for free.

Old-fashioned arcade games -- with their coin slots, hokey plastic guns, and grainy color palettes -- gathered dust and graffiti, and had all the appeal of an ice box that hadn't been touched in years. Renting them out to arcades was a horrible value proposition, says Antioch stockbroker and old-school gaming enthusiast Seth Peterson, who mourned the changing times. You might earn $15 in quarters, $7.50 of which would go to the house. You'd spend $10 on gas just to cart the machine over.

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