John Tynes thinks the key to a good gaming session is having a good group. Join The Contrarian as he looks at different tools that could bring some quality to grouping in MMOGs.
"I'm sipping a latte at Starbucks when an instant message arrives on my mobile phone. There's a mobile game tournament starting soon with a $30 prize, and I'm invited to play." Max Steele looks at how a band of rebels from Sega.com transformed Nokia's N-Gage from a failing handset to a mobile gaming software platform with revolutionary potential.
"Is there such thing as a basic human function? Does sex pop up in all our virtual worlds because it is, at our core, our primary purpose? Or is money - the need to trade, to claim value - what's at our center?" Bonnie Ruberg discusses sex, economies, and upcoming adult-oriented online games.
Anonymity is a two-edged sword. It offers a sense of comfort and protection, but also causes issues of trust. Mark Wallace discusses how technology giants Microsoft and IBM are trying to handle internet anonymity, and how this could affect online communities.
Casual game portals all look alike - and soon, so will their games. Allen Varney explores the rampant knockoff debate raging among independent casual game developers.
Is the trend in gaming T-shirts just another retro fad, or something that will become a more permanent part of low fashion? Kyle Orland takes a look at today's offerings, and what they're still missing.
"In our society, it's all about the new and exciting, the shiny and freshly wrapped, the ones with the multi-million dollar marketing campaign attached to them." Tom Rhodes almost left behind his childhood games, but changed his mind.
Once a mainstay of the game industry, the transition to 3D has relegated the shoot-'em-up genre to a niche. Pat Miller looks at some innovative independant titles in this genre, created by Kenta Cho.
"Of the nine competitors who made it to the final table, six won more than the entire $1.4 million paid out 20 years earlier." Richard Aihoshi takes a look at how poker went from obscurity to mainstream.
The Cold War era and threat of nuclear catastrophe brought the post-apocalyptic setting to the forefront of gaming. Russ Pitts was a child fascinated with these situations, and tells us how he explored them though gaming.
Messages can be hidden even in the most unlikely places. Joe Blancato talks with Wideload's Matt Soell, creator of Stubbs the Zombie, on game design, music, stereotypes, and the creation of Stubbs.
Sometimes the most meaningful 'multiplayer' happens with single-player games. Kyle Orland relates how a re-release of a classic title made him realize how much the original helped him connect with others.
"I would find some unsuspecting girl and convince her I was not a nerd, until she married me. Then, I would slowly but surely corrupt her until she, too, found computer games fun." Bruce Nielson details the evolution, and results, of his master plan.
Multiplayer gaming can be tough to get going if you stick to the usual hardcore titles, but cooperative modes and party games can make this easier. Hitchhiker tells us how he plays games with his wife Danielle, starting with the odd one out, Halo.
What makes a designer jump from creating single-player games at an established company to working on an MMOG at an untested startup? N. Evan Van Zelfden interviews Tom Hall, Creative Director at KingIsle Entertainment.