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Cats finally take over the world with mobile game Neko Atsume

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Neko Atsume is a smartphone game where players can watch cats. They can’t pet them, or call to them, or scratch behind their ears. The most a player can do is buy a treat or toy and place it in a backyard. If the player is lucky, the toy will attract Snowball, a furry white kitty who enjoys playing with rubber balls. Or, if the player is really lucky, the toy might even attract Pumpkin—who eats all the tuna he can get his paws on. Yutaka Takazaki, the creator of…

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Bringing otome games to the other side of the world

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Otome games—visual romance novels targeted at women—don’t often find a wide audience outside of Japan. Not only do they struggle to market towards women in countries where dating simulators are less of a cultural staple, but the games’ protagonists and stories are often coated in a Japanese context, causing some of the magic to get lost in translation. Even breakthrough titles in the otome genre usually meet small niche popularity when compared to their male-oriented counterparts. That being said, some otome games have broken the barrier, finding their foothold in…

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How depth-sensing technology is changing videogames

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. For anyone who has tried to get down to a catchy pop song while holding a controller during a round of Just Dance, or missed a clutch tennis shot because the Wii didn’t sense the swing, hands-free depth-sensing technology is a saving grace. When players can control a game using gestures and a computer that “sees” like a human, the options become a whole lot more interesting. Enter Intel’’s RealSense camera, which allows users to do everything from change their background during a video chat to scan 3D objects. The 3D depth-sensing…

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The problem with empathy games

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. A niche genre of videogames hopes to inspire players to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, leading to an important discussion about how players experience empathy. Biofeedback videogames feed off players’ physiological responses, impacting gameplay in new and interesting ways. But what happens when developers create games designed to evoke a specific emotional or psychological response? Empathy games attempt to answer that question. These videogames aspire to enhance a player’s understanding of an outside perspective, particularly those pertaining to real-world struggles and inequalities, through interactive experiences. “You have to…

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Article

What could an Indian videogame identity look like?

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Indian game development is booming—or at least it is compared to where it was just a decade ago. Shailesh Prabhu, founder of Yellow Monkey studio and a lead designer on their isometric puzzle game Socioball, says that, “When I started working in games eleven years ago, there were about four game studios. When I started Yellow Monkey eight years ago, there were maybe eight? Right now, there are too many to count.” That’s in no small part due to the fact that, despite the lack of formal avenues for developers, quality creators…

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Asami Shigemitsu and the importance of earnest creativity

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Asami Shigemitsu is nothing if not enthusiastic about her art. A freelance video director and illustrator, Shigemitsu is a graduate of the Kyoto Seika University School of Design. She’s had success with creating commissioned illustrations for various organizations and directing a number of music videos for independent Japanese artists. She’s also a big fan of gaming and film, and finds them to be particularly influential on her work. Her directorial style relies heavily on strong color palettes, using bold monochromatic tones to give the visuals a striking look. Using a variety…

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The most subversive uses of drone technology

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Initially known to many for their military use, drones have evolved quickly into tools for creating and enjoying new experiences. They have become flying extensions of the human desire to innovate, help people and have fun. Nearly four million commercial drones are expected to sell this year, rising to 16 million a year by 2020, according to a new report by Juniper Research. “Three years ago, this technology was so expensive, so unattainable, that only the professional cinematographer could afford it,” said International Drone Racing Association CEO Charles Zablan in…

Biofeedback
Article

The biofeedback games made to improve our well-being

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. When Space Invaders dropped into Japanese arcades, the alien shooting gallery was such a phenomenon that the 100 yen piece, the equivalent of an American quarter, became a rarity. The game’s action was straightforward and exacting, and the narrative spoke to everyone’s inner xenophobe. Ultimately, however, it was the stellar soundtrack — a simple pulsing heartbeat that accelerated with each passing minute —that made each playthrough a thrill. Videogames have always had the ability to affect a player’’s biorhythms but now games are being created to pull those physiological reactions into…