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Why the future of esports is mobile

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Popular new mobile titles like Vainglory (2014) and Clash Royale show the promise of competitive esports on the go. While esports competitions continue to emphasize PC games like League of Legends (2009), new titles available on mobile devices are shaking things up for players and fans. According to a report released last year by the NPD Group, younger kids are playing games on their phones more than any other device. Game studios have taken note, creating mobile games that appeal to core and casual players alike. “Somebody’s going to create…

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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…

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New Processors Give Mobile Gamers a Competitive Edge

This article is part of a collaboration with iQ by Intel. Players who traverse new games like Star Wars: Battlefront, retro games like Horizon Chase or virtual reality experiences are keen on having the best new processors and computing performance they can get. But for many gamers, having a computer that pushes their skills to a game’s limit is no longer enough, according to Mark Chang, gaming strategist on Intel’s performance notebook team. “It’s not just about playing the game anymore,” said Chang. “It’s also about sharing and engaging with the community and friends. That completes the gaming experience.” He pointed to the rise of…