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Ralph Baer, Inventor Of First Home Video Game System, Dies At 92

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ralph baer w brown boxEveryone with a Play Station or a Wii, or even anyone who spends time playing games or using apps like Angry Birds, owes Ralph Baer a debt of gratitude. Baer invented the first the first home video game system and applied for the first video game patent in 1971. In 1972, Baer’s employer, Sanders Associates, licensed what he called a “game box” to Magnavox, which put the Odyssey video game console on the market. Baer, who collected more than 150 patents during the course of his engineering and programming career, died on Saturday at the age of 92.

The Odyssey console had a master control unit, player controls, and program cards to support various games. It also came with a deck of cards, poker chips, and dice (this was 1972, after all). Odyssey was all hardware, which included 40 transistors and 40 diodes. The console sold only 130,000 units that first year, but it started the age of video games, which has continued to barrel along ever since.

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Amusement Park Rides Are Becoming More Like Video Games

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Justice League: Battle For Metropolis

Justice League: Battle For Metropolis

Cruise ships aren’t the only ones integrating new technology to attract customers, theme parks are getting in on the act too. We’re not talking about Epcot or MGM Studios, which have been renowned for their use of cutting-edge technology for quite some time. We’re talking about run of the mill amusement parks—the kind that at one point not too long ago resembled the county fair. They’re finding it more and more difficult to lure customers away from their home entertainment systems and the comfort of the couch, so they’re now integrating ideas generally associated with video games and virtual reality: immersion and interactivity.

Those were the key concepts highlighted by vendors and companies at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo. They essentially want to merge video games with rollercoasters and other rides. Six Flags in St. Louis and Texas will eventually showcase a new ride called Justice League: Battle for Metropolis that combines the usual adrenaline with laser guns, animatronics, and a 3D fog screen. Or customers can lower themselves into vehicles inspired by submarines and shoot 3D sea creatures in an attempt to save a drowning berry farm in Voyage to the Iron Reef. At the Expo, U.K.-based Holovis touted an interactive indoor attraction in which customers ride in vehicles that travel through tropical scenes enhanced with animation and CGI, special effects, and music as they fire away at pirates.

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Now You Can Own One Of Those Unearthed E.T. Games For Yourself, Here’s How

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Atari E.T.Do you feel like paying a lot of money for a piece of trash that has been buried for decades and only recently unearthed? Did I mention that it’s a piece of historical trash, sort of, depending on your perspective and what you consider important. There’s been a great deal of talk lately about the E.T. Atari cartridges that were thrown in a hole in New Mexico 30 years ago and that were dug up recently. Now, if you’re in the market for such a trinket, you can buy one to call your very own. It probably won’t work, even if you do have the appropriate console, if that’s what you’re looking for, but by all accounts, this is the worst videogame ever made, so you’re probably not missing out on much.

The Tularosa Basin Historical Society in Alamagordo, New Mexico, which organized the dig and owns all of the unearthed cartridges, recently put 99 of them up for auction on eBay. Some of these, which all come with a certificate of authenticity, lest someone pay lots of money for actual garbage, have already reached upwards of $500, which sounds like a lot for a terrible game that you can’t play.

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Mario Kart Makes You Happy — Science Says So

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mariokartWhen I was little, I begged my parents for a Nintendo. No dice. About a week ahead of my ninth birthday, I asked them for only one thing — permission to spend my own money, hard-earned from lawn mowing, leaf raking, and other chores, on a Nintendo. Still no. My parents said they didn’t want me getting up at 3 am to play video games, that they knew me well enough to know I’d become obsessed with a Nintendo if we had one. I was furious, but in retrospect, they were completely right. Back then I compensated by playing games at friends’ houses or riding my bike up to the Pizza Hut that had an arcade version of Super Mario Bros. I do the same thing now, though to a lesser extent. The game I get most excited to play as an adult is Mario Kart, which I’ve been playing on other people’s systems since college. I now live with someone who owns a Wii (don’t tell my parents!) and a few months ago we got Mario Kart 8, which has improved on old versions by allowing players to ride on walls and ceilings, to fly, and to get speed boosts by crashing into others. Even though I may play too much these days, I’m heartened by knowing that good ol’ science has demonstrated that playing Mario Kart actually makes people happier.

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The Walking Dead: Overkill Reveals Trailer For Upcoming Video Game

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AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead is on the way back for season 5 in a few short months, but that’s not all that fans have to look forward to. Overkill, the video game studio behind the PayDay series, is teaming up with Robert Kirkman and his Skybound Entertainment for a new Walking Dead game. To announce this collaboration, they’ve released this grim new trailer.

If this video is any indication of how the finished product is destined to unfold, we’re in for a gritty, bleak time. This trailer is definitely a slow burn, and is not a indicative of a happy, cuddly, everybody hug kind of game. No, this looks like it falls in line the severe, foreboding nature of the comics. As you can tell from this video, things are not going to end well for anyone.

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The Walking Dead: The Game – Tragedy And Childbirth Make Episode 4 A Series Highlight

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While the Episode 4 SPOILERS are kept to a minimum, you’ll definitely want to play Episode 3 before reading.

walking dead gameIn the world of The Walking Dead, the only safety is in knowing that there is no safety. Undead walkers are around every corner and behind every door, just waiting to turn people’s faces into mulch. Yet Telltale’s The Walking Dead: The Game has consistently proven that humans are still capable of the most monstrous actions in this post-apocalyptic world, and Episode 4, Amid the Ruins, is a dark and dreary reminder of that fact. Complete with tons of gore, decision-making, and the brief potential for humane sympathy, of course.

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