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      Game Culture

      Running in the Mainframe

      Running in the Mainframe

      Prepare for Virtual Reality

       

       

      Video games have always been seen as the forefront of interactive media, and with good reason. Over the years, there have been plenty of leaps and bounds in terms of technological advancement, and video games are usually front and center in that march. Going from displaying blocky pixel art to hyper realistic graphics is no small feat. And while higher frame rates and crisper sounds are always solid states in the race towards advancements, no other achievement has been more sought after by the industry than virtual reality.

      Even before we were introduced to 32 bit graphics, there have been plenty of attempts at virtual reality. And while we’re only currently making significant progress with it in the form of Oculus, Vive, or the PSVR, other industries are also experiencing the fruits of research brought about by the video game industry.

       

       

      Architecture is one of the first industries that used VR for non-entertainment purposes, going as far back as the ‘90s to prop up schematics in a virtual space and allow architects to view plans in angles that they would otherwise not be able to see. These days, even entire cities are being simulated in a virtual space.

       

       

      One of the more well-known applications of VR outside of video gaming is in the medical field. It has been used for rehabilitation purposes, such as exposure therapy for anxiety disorders. Behavioral activation also utilizes VR to help patients with depression. Surgeons that are still not used to the operating room have also been using VR to practice their surgical skills without ever needing to practice on actual cases. Recently, it has also been used for medical simulation training in the current COVID-19 situation in lieu of educators.

       

       

       

      For police departments around the country, virtual reality is where it’s at in terms of providing solutions to these problems that they’ve been having. There have been plenty of instances of police brutality happening around the world, and our country is no exception to that. Fortunately for us normal folk, the advent of technology has been providing plenty of avenues for us to air our grievances and accentuate the outcry that the citizens have been feeling regarding these incidents. With the use of virtual reality, police officers have been training their de-escalation tactics in a bid towards making strides in peaceful encounters in situations that will not pose any threats to actual lives.

      However, as with all new technology, studies on the benefits of actually using VR have been near impossible to determine without extensive reviews made by independent agencies. Evidence for the benefits of using VR to rehabilitate Parkinson’s disease patients are sparse, especially when compared to other methods. Similarly, de-escalation training for the police force using VR is still unproven ground, especially since it would be pretty hard to simulate the varying non-verbal cues from actual humans in a simulation. Despite these problems that VR is currently facing, one thing is for certain: technology will continue to march on, and VR will be even more sophisticated in the near future that it is now.

      Monkey Mojo : 6 Facts about Donkey Kong for his 40th Anniversary!

      Monkey Mojo : 6 Facts about Donkey Kong for his 40th Anniversary!

       

      Happy Birthday You Animal!

      This July 9th, Donkey Kong will be celebrating his 40th birthday! Or at least in our world. Canonically, not much is known about his age, but he sure has been at the top of his game for a long time now. He has acted both as an antagonist and protagonist and has shown up in a whole lot of genres of games. But the ape with the red tie still lives on to this day as one of the more popular characters in the pantheon of Nintendo IPs.

      Known as one of the first platformers to have ever existed, the original Donkey Kong game was actually about Mario, then known as Jumpman, well before he found his fame in Super Mario Bros. It featured the plumber trying to rescue his girlfriend, Pauline, from DK’s clutches. And while people who know their DK lore will tell you that the Donkey Kong in this game was actually a younger Cranky Kong, that game will continue to live on in our world as the birth of this iconic ape.

       

       

      Having sold more than 48 million units worldwide across 36 different Donkey Kong titles, Donkey Kong is probably the most profitable ape that Nintendo has ever put out, and with good reason. Spawning critically and commercially acclaimed games of various genres will put any character on the map, and DK has it in spades.

      Of course, aside from playing Donkey Kong games and (hopefully) a surprise announcement or two from Nintendo to complete the number of his games to 40, the best way to celebrate his 40th anniversary is by knowing more about him. And what better way to do that than by hearing about some really interesting trivia about our ape of the hour?


      DK-ception

      Donkey Kong giving a thumbs up
      Do you think this is old school?

      Donkey Kong 64 hits the sweet spot in terms of a 3D platformer during the N64 era, and for good reason. It featured controls that made sense, mechanical breadth, and an emphasis on exploration. And while it doesn’t hold up quite as nicely as Super Mario 64, it still did its job as a solid entry to the series back then.


      However, one surprising thing that you need to consider if you want to beat the game is that to do so, you must be able to clear 100m in the original Donkey Kong game twice to progress in the game! It’s not even a side quest or a hidden mini-game. It’s a requirement if you want to see the ending. So you better know how to play the original DK if you want to finish DK64.


      It’s On like What?

      Donkey Kong wearing a tie, giving a thumbs up with the quote " It's on like Donkey Kong"
      I’ve never heard anyone say this in real life

      This one’s especially weird. The saying “It’s on like Donkey Kong” is patented and trademarked.  Nintendo is known for being fierce when defending their IPs and Donkey Kong is no exception.


      As for why you would ever want to say that or how it even came about, the phrase is actually just a variation on saying “It’s on.”, but adding Donkey Kong in the mix somehow made it more humorous and sharper. And Ice Cube was the first person who publicly said it in one of his raps with a very NSFW title. So, yeah, maybe try to stay away from saying that in public.


      King Donkey

      King Kong with his mouth open, baring his teeth.
      Yeah, totally not the same ape

      Ever wondered why no one is legally trying to fight about Donkey Kong and King Kong’s obvious resemblance, especially with them both being Kongs and them both being apes who kidnapped ladies? Well, there was a lawsuit revolving around that similarity. Universal Studios tried to sue Nintendo for allegedly infringing on copyright, and they did this when they saw Nintendo raking in a huge $180 million in sales for the original DK game.


      The only problem with that was Universal didn’t own King Kong because the story and character was already in public domain by the time DK showed up. Which meant that Universal wouldn’t be able to get a slice of the cash pie that they thought they would get a lick of.


      Gender Swap

      Simian kidnappings have thankfully decreased in recent years.

      Due to the time period that the original Donkey Kong game was released, it was unprecedented to have protagonists that are ladies in video games. Yeah, those were pretty bad times. But this is made even more apparent when the current generations take a look at these older titles and question why they can’t play as a different gender.


      Mike Mika, a video game developer, had a daughter who was pretty disappointed about not being able to “play the girl” despite there being a sprite for Pauline. So as someone adept at game code, he studied and hacked into the original Donkey Kong’s code so that his daughter could play the girl and have Mario be DK’s hostage. What a great dad!


      Simian Story

      That can't possibly be good for structural integrity, DK.

      While not the first game to introduce cutscenes to the video gaming world, it was surely one that helped popularize the concept. The original arcade version of Donkey Kong opened with a scene where Donkey Kong climbs a set of ladders with Pauline in tow, then stomps his feet to create the first level’s layout before taunting Mario and setting the stage for the entire game.


      This is quite significant for several reasons. Donkey Kong turned out to be more popular than anyone ever expected, which, in turn, had more eyes set upon it. And with that many people seeing it, it inadvertently caused these same people to expect stories to be told in their games, which propagated the use of cutscenes in video games.


      Mario, Questionable Pet Owner

      Mario in a bathing suit, walking along the sand with a puppy.

      Hoping he won’t mistreat you, Lil pupper!


      Yep, you read that right. Mario owned Donkey Kong, keeping the poor guy as a pet. So why did Donkey Kong even try to kidnap Pauline? Apparently, it’s because Mario was such a bad master that DK got frustrated with the whole ordeal and kidnapped Mario’s then-girlfriend as revenge.


      At least now you know why that game has the villain as its titular character. DK was just a sad little ape pet who just wanted to be loved by his master. Humans are the real evil or something. But hey, at least Mario became more animal friendly in the later games, right? After all, he would crush goombas underfoot so that he can rescue Princess Peach in later games. Wait a minute...


      Premium Primate

      Happy Early 40th anniversary to you, Donkey Kong! Maybe we should bake a giant banana cake, eh? We're set to stream some Diddy Kong Racing, or play some Super Smash Bros. Our plan for the big day? Nothing but Donkey Kong all day long. No matter which way you want to celebrate him turning 40, you've still got time to round out your collection of all 36 titles!


      So there you have it, some sweet trivia about our favorite anthropoid. Which of these was the most interesting for you? Did you already know any of these? Or maybe you want us to know something about Donkey Kong that we didn’t mention in our list? Let us know over on our twitter page!

      The Hardest Retro Games We've Grown To Love

      The Hardest Retro Games We've Grown To Love
      There is plenty of nostalgia to be had when it comes to retro games. Some of it might come from the times of your life when things were simpler due to how young you were when you played them. Or maybe some of it was because these retro games were some of your earliest forays in terms of video gaming experiences. After all, the reasons for nostalgia vary from person to person.

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      Some of the Best Soundtracks From the Past

      Some of the Best Soundtracks From the Past
      Video game music is one of the subtler parts that players often overlook when it comes to playing or even looking back at a video game. Unless they’re playing a rhythm game, players usually won’t even interact with music in their games. But despite it being a non-interactive element, players are bound to remember some of the most iconic pieces from a video game that they fell in love with.

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      The Best Video Game Moms

      The Best Video Game Moms
      Mother’s Day is the definitive day that most of the world celebrates our maternal figures. Being a mother is not limited to raising a child, birthing a child from your body, or perhaps attending a school meeting for moms, and it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes one a mother. But do know that if anyone feels that they’re your mother and you agree, then no one should contest it otherwise.

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