Samuel McConnell

Games commentator

Samuel McConnell is a games enthusiast who has been playing games in one form or another since 1991. He was born in northern Maine but quickly transplanted to Wichita.

Though he spends a great deal of his time at his day job helping people with their computer troubles, he carves out as much time as he can to play video or board games, or to tinker with his home cinema.

Labels that apply to Samuel: Gamer, nerd, geek, techie, trekkie, whovian, cinephile.

Ways to Connect

Many mobile games have a very short shelf life - they’re hyper-popular for a few months, and then quickly burn out as players move on to the next one. But here we are, two years after the launch of Pokémon Go, and the game has more players than it ever has, outside of its first few months.

fuxoft / Flickr

This commentary originally aired May 9, 2013.

Fairy tales are a part of our shared cultural knowledge – if you refer to Jack and the Beanstalk, the Three Little Pigs, or Goldilocks, almost everyone knows what you are talking about.

e3expo.com

For the last week, all the big game companies have been showing off what they’ll have for the next year at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, in Los Angeles.

thearcadewichita.com

Practically next door to KMUW’s studio is a little building that has something that Wichita has been missing for years - a real arcade, filled with games from the ‘80s and ‘90s, when arcades were at their peak. This arcade has a name that I think will be really easy to remember - it’s called The Arcade.

The NPD Group is a market research company that releases a report each month of every single video game that is sold. Usually these reports are fairly predictable: Lots of sales for the current consoles and PCs, fewer sales for the last generation systems, and that’s about it. But in last month’s report, there was something that nobody expected: one game was sold for the Sega Game Gear.

In 2007, I watched a documentary called “The King of Kong." If you aren’t familiar, it’s about Steve Wiebe, a laid-off engineer attempting to break the world record on the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong. The ostensible villain in this film is Billy Mitchell, who has been a prominent figure in arcade game high scores since the ‘80s. The movie shows Wiebe playing the game in his garage and getting the world’s first recorded score over a million points.

Toys R Us was my go-to place to buy video games in the 1990’s. In fact, it’s where I got the first games I ever bought - a Game Boy and a copy of Kirby’s Dreamland. The mall had specialty stores like Electronics Boutique, but Toys R Us had the advantage in both accessibility and advertising.

Your Move: Osmos

Mar 22, 2018

Puzzle video games have come a long way since Tetris. The genre has particularly flourished on smartphones, and one of my favorites that I’ve been playing for years is called Osmos.

Something the internet is awash with is fan art - drawings or stories or songs written about another property that particularly resonated with the artist. It’s a sort of tribute to the original work.

Final Fantasy XV, more than a year after its launch, still gets a lot of my gaming time. Aside from the original release, Square Enix has also put out several story expansions, a multiplayer mode, and lots of free new features in the base game. The story and gameplay have kept me coming back, even after finishing the whole game twice over. Unfortunately, several people I think would enjoy the game haven’t been able to play it, because it’s only been available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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