Op-Ed

Join The Escapist's writers and editors each weekday afternoon for an look at the issues important to you.

Op-Ed

This is the happiest day of my life.

Scientists at Brown University have successfully implanted a brain-computer interface (BCI) into the brain of a quadriplegic, allowing the man, Matthew Nagel, to use a computer and play Pong using nothing but his mind.

Op-Ed

Yesterday, Chris Buffa of GameDaily sounded off in an editorial titled "Why Videogame Journalism Sucks." I can't help but agree with the sentiment, but Buffa, despite a thousand words of evangelizing, doesn't quite get it.

Buffa contends that game journalism suffers from amateurish writing; a lack of testicular fortitude in all but the staunchest of journalists; writers with a lack of talented, identifiable voices; and an over-reliance on PR representatives to provide material worth reporting. All true. Take a snapshot of the industry, and you'll see people all over forgetting to put the punctuation inside the quotation marks, cuddling up to their favorite developers and taking press releases as Gospel. You don't need a journalism degree (something Buffa repeatedly harps on) to understand these problems; you just need eyes.

The thing is, while Buffa's right on all counts, his substantiation is terribly flawed.

Op-Ed

The Story: Alabama-based start-up, Envizions, announced today that they'll be shipping initial units of their new game console/media center in October, answering the question asked by tens of consumers world-wide: "When will this magic device ever ship?"

Op-Ed

It's stuff like this that makes me think someone needs to crack open Sony's Ken Kutaragi and flip the breaker.

Op-Ed

Microsoft's product lineup at this point is incredible: Software add-ons, operating systems, applications, games, game consoles, game hardware, computer peripherals and now, portable music players. Yet with each new entry the user response is the same. I like to call it The Five Stages of Microsoft Product Acceptance.

Op-Ed

So, I was chatting with the tech team, and they showed me some crazy cool stats. Ever wonder how many articles we've published, or the total page count of every issue?

Op-Ed

It is my sincere pleasure to announce that The Escapist will soon be bringing you a podcast.

Op-Ed

Welcome to The Escapist! ... again. It was but a year ago that we all first met, that I first welcomed you. It was at that point that I explained the "Bar Napkin Moment," the very one that birthed The Escapist in its original form.

And so, when thinking what to write here, for this momentous, at least in our lives, occasion, I felt it appropriate to tell you, again, about the Bar Napkin Moment. Well, this time, really, it was more of a Whiteboard Several Months. Yes, we've moved up in the world.

Op-Ed

It's that time again, folks, for your semi-daily dosage with yours truly. Not much on the ticket right now, but no one likes moving and shaking when it's 100 degrees outside.

Op-Ed

Do you know what day it is?

Do you know what day it is?

No, it's not time to change your oil, and it may or may not be your mother's birthday, but I'm not talking about that. Today is July 10th, and the most important thing about today is that it's the day before tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the BIG DAY. July 11th, Tuesday, the one-year anniversary of The Escapist that I told you about two weeks ago, remember? REMEMBER? You didn't buy me anything did you? Well, there's still time to reserve a table at Bin 54. You're paying. Order the Kobe.

Op-Ed

So here's how the story goes: Sony's got this shiny, new PS3 website, which really is spectacular. Well worth the billions of Yen the company just had to borrow from just about every bank in Japan to keep the PS3 debacle swimming.

Now, since Sony doesn't care much for keeping people informed, there's nothing really on this new site except some pics and the usual "Hey we haven't announced anything yet, so there's nothing to see here" press release-type-stuff. But you know how people are, some net-bound doofus has been hitting refresh all day on that site, hoping, yearning for something new to appear.

And this one time, at band camp, it did.

Op-Ed

I've always enjoyed news roundups. It's a big world, and for busy, intelligent people like you and me, having an RSS reader with over 40 sites constantly trickling in news updates and editorial is just going to kill our productivity. (I mean, really, who has time to read 40 websites a day? Especially gaming websites. Certainly not me, I can tell you that [Hi, boss!].)

Anyway, if you've been busy this week, like me, here's a few headlines you may have missed.

Op-Ed

"The right now's in chickens, kid," I say to anyone who will listen. "Worry about the future when it comes." I say this because you can feed a family of eight for an entire year off the proceeds of one chicken. Use the chicken to raise chicks to sell at a market, use the non-fertilized eggs to feed the kids, use the manure to fertilize the cash crops you grow in the fields. It's protein-based subsistence farming. This is the yearly miracle I work, not because I'm divine, but because I have to.

Op-Ed

Esquire magazine's Chuck Klosterman says that a Lester Bangs of video gaming "doesn't exist," but according to 1UP's Jane Pinckard, he might exist, but it's just that "nobody cares." Henry Jenkins, however, does care and has many, many MIT professor-ish things to say on the subject, most of which center around the current necessity for such a figure. Like Superman, or Jesus Christ, a Lester Bangs of video games, one supposes, would save us all from the horrors of ... what, exactly? No one is sure. Yet Clive Thompson claims that a Lester Bangs of video gaming does, in fact, exist, but the mainstream media is looking for him in all the wrong places.

So let's get the important question out of the way first: Who the hell is Lester Bangs? To quote Louis Armstrong, if you have to ask, you'll never know. But I'll try to explain anyway.

Op-Ed

In 1983, the government of the United States of America destroyed a small island in the Pacific Ocean with an experimental nuclear weapon called the MX Missile. Or rather, they would have had the missile's eight nuclear warheads been armed.