video games

Samuel McConnell / KMUW

Super Mario Maker is a hard game to evaluate because, at its core, it’s more of a tool than a game. You use it to create levels for Super Mario Bros., and then upload them to the internet for other people to play. It’s more akin to reviewing a bottle opener: without bottles to open, what good is it? But with Super Mario Maker, the actual creation of the levels is at least half of the fun.

fleur-design / Flickr / Creative Commons

Now that school is starting, kids are hopefully scaling back on video games and spending some time studying. But some of my favorite games of all time I actually was exposed to through school, and were fun enough to disguise the fact that I could actually be learning through gameplay.

There’s been a lot of talk lately that 2015 is a banner year for video games, one of the best in recent history, and I tend to agree. We got the New 3DS, Splatoon, Metal Gear Solid V, Batman: Arkham Knight, and a huge slate of highly anticipated games yet to come out this year, including Star Wars Battlefront, Halo 5, Fallout 4, Super Mario Maker, and Rock Band 4.

courtesy Fireshark

Here in Wichita, we have access to what is, as far as I know, a completely unique gaming experience.

Fireshark Gaming is a gaming center where you can play a game that takes place all around you, and even underneath you. The game is played in a 33-by-20-foot room with up to 10 people. On the ceiling are a bunch of projectors, pointed both at the walls and the floor.

bagogames / Flickr / Creative Commons

A few weeks ago, I heard the bad news that Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo, had passed away.

Iwata was interested in games from a young age, developing them on a calculator in high school. He later attended the Tokyo Institute of Technology to study computer science and formed a club with several of his friends to create games. This club eventually became HAL Laboratory, the company behind the Kirby and Smash Brothers game series.

Joi Ito / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Sony Computer Entertainment is one of the most successful video game companies ever. The PlayStation 2 is the best-selling game system in history, and had it not been for their partnership and eventual falling out with Nintendo, the PlayStation may never have ever happened.

So, I tried Plink the other day.

Plink is a free online multiplayer game that lets you make music in real time with other people. Pressing the “Start” button puts the player into an environment with two or three other players-- strangers-- and a four-on-the- floor bass drum pattern. All one does is cooperate with the others to make music. / Flickr

Nintendo’s Wii U is a fantastic console. It plays some of my favorite recent games like Mariokart 8 and Super Smash Bros, and I’m looking forward to playing the upcoming Super Mario Maker and Star Fox Zero. But compared to other home consoles, not a whole lot of people are playing these games. / Creative Commons

I’ve spent a lot of time with Bungie’s massively multiplayer first person shooter Destiny. I first talked about it on here about a year ago, and a lot has happened in the game since.

Samuel McConnell / KMUW

I’ve been away from home a lot lately, so I haven’t been playing much in the way of console or board games lately. I always have a few games with me though, on my smartphone.