The Oculus Rift Facebook Fiasco

You’ve probably heard by now that Facebook has snatched up Oculus Rift, the Kickstarter-funded VR interface. Oculus Rift was a particularly noteworthy Kickstarter, a real breakthrough success story–it raised 2.4 million dollars, far more than its humble goal of 250,000. Naturally, there is outrage among the community of folks who supported its campaign, and also, of course, plenty of apologists.

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Matt Chat 232: Lands of Lore Retrospective

This week’s episode features a retrospective of a hidden gem from the 90s, Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos. If you’re looking for more Dungeon Master-experiences like Legend of Grimrock, you’ll love it. Plus, how many other CRPGs have Patrick Stewart as a voice actor?

You can buy Lands of Lore I and II from GOG for only $5.99. Use this link, and the show gets a cut!

Support Matt Chat with Patreon–it’s the best way to support the YouTubers you love.

Download the mp4 here.

Experimenting with Matt Chat Formats

I guess you guys have probably noticed I’ve been playing around with the Matt Chat format. Mostly this is just to avoid stagnation; I feel like I should always be trying to find ways to improve the show or just change it up enough to keep it fresh. I also have to admit it’s been fun playing around with Blender and some of Vegas’s more advanced features.

However, some folks have objected strongly to the changes in the latest video. It seems that I may have went overboard, rendering a moving 3D background of a circuit-textured tunnel throughout the video. Even I thought it might be a bit distracting and tried to slow it down, but apparently not enough. Only now do I realize that I didn’t need any such thing–I’m already providing two points of interest for viewers: the talking head and the gameplay footage. If you get bored with one, you switch to the other. Adding a third thing just makes it look too busy.

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Matt Chat 231: Stewart Cheifet on Computer Chronicles Pt III

In my third and final installment with Stewart Cheifet, host and producer of Computer Chroncles, we chat about the impact of games on the computer industry, hilarious antics behind the scenes, and Stewart’s thoughts on piracy, net neutrality, and more.

Support Matt Chat with Patreon–it’s the best way to support the YouTubers you love: http://www.patreon.com/blacklily8
Download the mp4 here.

Matt Chat 230: Stewart Cheifet Part II

Stewart Cheifet, host and producer of Computer Chronicles, is back this week to talk about his experiences with the landmark television program. We chat about Commodore, Atari, Apple, IBM, and Microsoft. We also get more behind-the-scenes stories, such as how Steve Jobs told off Stewart in a board meeting, and how Jack Tramiel didn’t know jack about computers!

You can watch classic episodes of Computer Chronicles at archive.org.
Support Matt Chat with Patreon–it’s the best way to support the YouTubers you love.

Download the mp4.

Matt Chat 229: Stewart Cheifet from Computer Chronicles

This is the first part of my interview with the great Stewart Cheifet of Computer Chronicles. In this installment, we talk about the history of the show, the sad story of his co-host Gary Kildall, and much, much more.

Download the mp4 here.

Watch episodes of Computer Chronicles for free at Archive.org


All Games are Political; Are They Also Unethical?

Okay, I’m deliberately raking the coals with this title. What does it mean to say that “all games are political” or “unethical?” Obviously, some games are concerned with politics (such as Democracy), and some that are clearly unethical (Ethnic Cleansing–no way I’m going to link that). But what about games like Halo 4, Gears of War, or Skyrim? Clearly, there’s nothing “political” or “unethical” about them, right? They’re just “games,” you say, with no connection whatsoever to reality. But, hold on a minute–what if we’re wrong about that? What if all games, no matter what their content, are expressing a political and ethical perspective that we–as gamers, unconsciously embrace (or consciously reject) when we play them?

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A Neo-Marxist Perspective on CRPGs?

Are CRPGs good for nothing but reinforcing capitalist values? Is there nothing else for us but looting, slaying anything that isn’t “one of us,” and romanticizing that bloody climb up the social and corporate ladder?

I know I’m probably driving some of you guys and gals batty with all of this academic stuff, but the truth is, I’ve so immersed in it these days (I am a prof, after all) that it’s about all I have time to think about. Fortunately, most of the theoretical stuff I teach (or, at least, attempt to teach) to students is nicely applicable to videogames.

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