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Teen Patti and The Rise Of Mobile Gaming in India

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. You can play Teen Patti just about anywhere these days. A half-sister to Texas Hold’em, Teen Patti games were once mostly contained to the felt tables of Indian casinos. All that’s changing. With the use of smartphones soaring in the country, mobile games are becoming accessible to millions for the first time. In 2014, smartphone use in India more than doubled. Experts are also projecting the number of smartphone owners in India to surpass the US as soon as next year, with 219 million smartphone owners in the country. The advent of…

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How VR will change the way we create

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. The advent of the internet created a whole new mode of self-expression, from digital and gif art to fan-fiction and fan art. Now, new virtual reality (VR) tools are primed to inspire yet another era of creators, both amateur and professional, by inviting them to step into their own inventions. Nowhere—so far—is the medium’s artistic possibilities more evident than in Tilt Brush, Google’s VR painting app that launched on the HTC Vive in April. “Combined with the newest generation of motion controllers and input technology, VR has the potential to be…

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Alternative gaming controllers facilitate full-body fun

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. While videogames have inspired a staccato of button-tapping throughout their brief but effusive history, the majority of games makes use of few motions other than a twitching of hands and fingers. There are notable exceptions, such as poking tennis balls with the Wii Remote or waving at the Xbox Kinect, but the 900 other ligaments of human physiology get markedly less play. With the new generation of alternative gaming controllers, however, the days of button-mashing may not be long for this world. These recent and fascinating alternatives give traditional controls a…

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How Doom inspired two generations of hackers and modders

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. A premier first-person shooter, Doom (1993) still inspires programmers, modders and digital artists to adapt the game in unexpected ways. Excitement over the release of Doom 2016 is proof the beloved 24-year-old game series is a pop-culture mainstay. Doom is much more than a big-name franchise about blasting demons in their ugly faces. It’s a rare phenomenon that inspired the DIY gaming movement and continues to spark unbridled creativity among its biggest fans. Since id Software unleashed Doom on PCs in 1993, it has ushered in two entire generations…

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IGX spotlights potential for the gaming industry in India

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. On a warm November morning last year in Mumbai, a crowd of thousands of curious young people queued up on the street for a chance to try out the latest and greatest in videogames. Some were decked out in cosplay outfits, others came dressed like anyone else. But more than just a chance for free rein on new titles like Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) and FIFA 15 (2014), this was a big moment for videogames in India. And the Indian videogame community proved its merit in droves. “The Indian gaming ecosystem is at the cusp…

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Cultural representation in Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. India is a diverse country, home to some 3499 separate communities and 325 different languages and dialects, according to one anthropological survey. But representation of the region in videogames has been lazy at best and non-existent at worst. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s (2011) campaign featured a single mission set in the city of Dharamshala with barely a trace of Indian culture, let alone accuracy. On the other hand, games like Final Fantasy and Smite (2014) tend to bend elements of Indian culture to fit the game’s needs or aesthetic…

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The creator of Persona on life, Japanese culture, and the unconscious

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. In the crowded world of Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs), the critically acclaimed Persona series has stood out for a decade and counting. Defying conventions established by other popular franchises like Final Fantasy, the series forgoes the usual swords and sorcery for something closer to home. Using subtle surrealism instead, Persona layers its more fantastical elements with social commentary. Players venture into a strange, shadowy world hidden behind their television screens, where enemies are a unique blend of the psychological and supernatural. “The Persona series addresses problems that people hold deep in their hearts,” said Katsura Hashino, the…

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How Japan shaped nostalgia in games

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. For Shigeru Miyamoto, the inspiration for The Legend of Zelda (1986) series lay in the natural beauty of his hometown of Kyoto, Japan. As a young boy, the Nintendo designer behind Mario, Zelda, and Pikmin would take hikes around nearby forests, rivers, and old Sonobe Castle ruins. It was on one such hike that Miyamoto happened upon a cave that fascinated him. He returned to it a few days later, shook off his nerves, and, armed with a homemade lantern, journeyed into its mysterious depths. It was this feeling of discovery and…

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Fixing Australia’s game rating system for the digital age

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Australia is notorious for its strict approach to media bans and classification, coming down hard on videogames in particular. While the Australian Classification Board (ACB) has softened since the introduction of an R18+ adult rating in 2013, the list of banned games continues to grow. The more recent among them range from the hyper-violence of Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, to the juvenile humor of South Park: The Stick of Truth. Aside from bans, many criticized the classification process itself, seeing it as a long and costly burden on creators and…