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Link Roundup for Oct. 9th: Gravity’s Gaming Inspirations; Switching to Trevor; Consequences in Video Games; and more…

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Link Roundup is a collection of links from gaming (and non-gaming) sites all over the internet we hope will spark discussion, keep you informed and up-to-date, and broaden your gaming horizons. It will publish each Tuesday and Friday (and sometimes Wednesday, apparently). Readers are encouraged to send link suggestions to jtmgames@gmail.com.

Does Gravity borrow its best moments from video games?

Inside the “bibles” of Halo, Tron, Splinter Cell, and more.

The funniest switching to Trevor moments in GTA V.

Ten principles of good level design.

The rise of consequences in video games.

WB Montreal is opening up a wackload of new jobs.

Game Informer grades the fake PS4 designs.

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Links to Think About for June 27th

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Indies will drive this field forward.

But are they becoming too popular?

Nice looking (and already pretty successful) crowdfunded game — inspired by early Final Fantasy RPGs — adds a Wii U port to its $80,000 goal.

Roll reversal? Microsoft has to prove Xbox One’s premium price is worth it.

From the other camp, IGN reveals Sony cut the PlayStation Eye from the PS4 to keep the price down.

Just what kind of potential does the second screen have?

In “Whuuuuuut?” news, Seth Rogen reveals that he and his screenwriting partner have been approached multiple times to write an Uncharted movie.

Dear Esther Review – More Art Than Game

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Over the past several years there has been an ongoing debate regarding art and video games. While most will acknowledge that painting, photography, books, music and movies can all come in forms that we call ‘art’, there have been very few video games that have been accepted into that category.

While one could draw a loose connection between Timecop, Clive Cussler novels, and Far Cry 3, games analogous to To Kill a Mockingbird or The Grapes of Wrath are few and far between. Developers thechineseroom’s Dear Esther, an Indie ‘interactive experience’ based on Valve’s Source engine, is attempt to elevate video games to the status of art.

Keep reading after the cut to see if it succeeds. Read the rest of this entry

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller – Episode 3: The Oracle Review

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Man alive! Just when I think Cognition’s openings have plateau’d, Phoenix Online Studios fires off another one.  “Cognition – Episode 3: The Oracle” picks up immediately after “The Wise Monkey,” the previous episode. The opening to this installment isn’t as shockingly violent, but holy heck if it doesn’t throw a climax-worthy twist at you in the first ten minutes. Way to keep me on my toes.

In fact, I can say with confidence that “The Oracle” is the best entry yet in the series. It’s the most focused, surprising, and enjoyable. This series has always been good being unpredictable, but this entry tosses some Cliff Lee-curveballs. A few frustrations remain, but generally I’m happy to report Phoenix Online Studios seems to be getting darn good at this. Read the rest of this entry

Bargain Game Hunting – A Guide To Buying Games Cheap

Gamers are a proud bunch that take their hobby seriously. But one thing they will admit, is that gaming (especially collecting) can be a very expensive hobby. From $300 consoles to $60 games, serious gaming can be an intimidating hobby to get into and is taxing on your wallet.

However, if you follow our guide, you’ll learn how to find games on the cheap and be able to enjoy your hobby without having to worry so much about starving or paying rent. This is Bargain Game Hunting – A Guide To Buying Games Cheap Read the rest of this entry

Gamers Helping To Find Cure For AIDS

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Please excuse me if this is very old news, but I’d like to spotlight another fine example of the gaming community working together for a great cause. You see in late 2011, a number of gamers solved a difficult biology puzzle that could help lead to the creation of anti-HIV drugs in the future. The discovery was done through Fold.it; a website hosting a puzzle-solving game that allows players to contribute to scientific studies by playing and solving long-standing scientific puzzles.

A scientific paper published around that time cited the three gamers who solved the puzzle. The solution had to do with protein from a virus that causes AIDS; a problem strain that had scientific community stumped for over 15 years.

More information about this amazing discovery after the break. Read the rest of this entry

SteelSeries 7H Headset Review

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“What’s that?” My fiancé asked, his eyes wide, as I pulled the attractively packaged headset out of my bag and onto my desk.

“It’s the SteelSeries 7H headset I was given to review.” I responded. “You can have it when I’m done.”

I didn’t think there was an issue with what I’d just promised. At the time, it even sounded logical: I tend to stick to single player games where a microphone isn’t necessary, whereas my fiancé never leaves the land of multiplayer. Common sense dictated that he would put it to better use. The problem was, I hadn’t even taken the headset out the box yet.

The first pang of regret came when I put it on. It was really comfortable. Strong but flexible, the headset fit itself perfectly to my narrow, child-sized head without any sign of slippage. The ear cushions hugged pleasantly around my ears to minimise background noise.

“Dammit.” I thought. Read the rest of this entry

Lessons in Prehistoric Love & Game Jams

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I’ll start off this article by pre-empting your question with an answer – “Game Jam”. Usually comprised of several teams of 2 or 3 people, the Game Jam typically occurs over an intense weekend where programmers, artists, designers and coffee collaborate to build a game from scratch.

The purpose of Game Jams varies. Some are organized by big-name studios to foster the design process of their creative teams, allowing members a chance to develop their own ideas while still having access to top-of-the-line equipment. Others function on a local level, fostering the game development community, providing indie developers, students and artists alike a chance to network (provided they can bring their own computer). Read the rest of this entry

MOGA Pro Controller Review – A Hardcore Gamer’s Dream

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Last year I was quite impressed the Power A’s MOGA Pocket controller. However, while it allowed me to play my favourite mobile games with a game controller, it had a number of issues like deadzones, battery-life, and an unreliable pivot app that annoyed me the more I used the gamepad. Thankfully, the brand-new MOGA Pro controller fixes all of the MOGA Pocket’s issues while bringing with it a few news additions that make it feel like a hardcore gamer’s dream.

Should you pick up the MOGA Pro Controller? Find out after the break. Read the rest of this entry

The 2013 Canadian Videogame Awards Red Carpet Gallery

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Michael Mando (Vaas in Far Cry 3) at the CVA Red Carpet.

As you might have read in one of our earlier posts, April 20th was the night of the fourth annual Canadian Videogame Awards. And like many award shows, there’s a customary red carpet gala for the presenters, nominees, and special guests. Fellow JTM editor Lee Guille and I were there to cover not only the event itself but the red carpet as well.

The event saw the CVA’s host and Deus Ex: Human Revolution voice actor Elias Toufexis, Mass Effect 3′s Jennifer Hale and Mark Meer, Far Cry 3′s Michael Mando (voice of the crazy Vaas), Electric Playground’s Victor Lucas, and many more. One thing was for sure, the Canada’s game community, developers, publishers and fans all came to support the Canadian video game industry’s night of celebration.

Check out the CVA 2013 red carpet gallery after the break.

Read the rest of this entry