Allen: A hot topic in the gaming press these days is the ever-increasing popularity of YouTube videos of games being played. These “Let’s Plays” are growing in popularity exponentially, and new Internet personalities have sprouted around this phenomenon. In this excellent article, Giant Bomb’s Patrick Klepek brings up an interesting point: are Let’s Plays hurting the horror genre? As someone who just recently started streaming and uploading game footage with commentary to YouTube, I can understand his trepidation when it comes to a genre so centered on player control. By watching someone else play a horror game, one essentially misses out on the most terrifying and intimate aspect of these games; the control. As I touched on briefly in my latest article, it’s a subject where, as with all good topics of debate, both sides have valid points. Some people will never get to experience these games specifically because they’re too afraid to take control, and it’s going to be even more of a hot-button issue when the next generation of consoles allow streaming of games without any software required.
James: The other day, my suite got an Xbox. Despite the lack of productivity, there has been an increase in morale stemming from this acquisition. The games that we have consist of three different football games, Halo 2, Battlefront 2, Spiderman 2, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. These games are straight out of my childhood in the 2000s, so they have a deep meaning for me. These were the games that taught me how to play video games, and here they are, back in my room. In particular, playing Battlefront 2 is an amazing experience, as the split screen multiplayer allows someone else to hop on the couch and play. The game center is conducive to socialization, and is one of the best purchases my suite has ever made, except for our disco ball.
Magellan: As everyone must be well aware of by now, rock pioneer and music legend Lou Reed passed away over the weekend. There are no doubt countless articles out there which could tell you the nuances of his talent and his affect on the music industry, so I won’t pretend like I know everything about the man or his music. Still, he’s a figure in our popular culture who has influenced countless others, so I thought it would be insensitive and foolish to let his passing by without so much as a respectful nod. So here it is, my respectful nod to Lou Reed: go listen to The Velvet Underground and join me in poseur pleasure. Just close your eyes and listen to “Sweet Jane,” or “Pale Blue Eyes,” or “Heroin,” or whatever you need to listen to in order to honor this man. That’s all I’ve got for today, now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go blast some more Velvet Underground.